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Saudi VC fund hires from google to help build tech unicorns

One of many Center East’s largest enterprise capital funds employed Ivan Jakovljevic from Google Inc to assist rework its portfolio of start-ups into so-called unicorns.

Jakovljevic will be a part of Saudi Arabia’s STV – which backed Dubai-based ride-hailing agency Careem Inc earlier than its sale to Uber Applied sciences Inc – as chief growth officer subsequent month, the corporate stated in an announcement. He was beforehand head of latest markets for Google within the Center East and North Africa.

“Saudi start-ups are at an inflection level, ” STV Chief Govt Officer and former Google government Abdulrahman Tarabzouni stated in an interview. The fund is “nurturing what might grow to be one other two-to-three unicorns over the subsequent few years, ” he stated. Begin-ups with a market worth of US$1bil (RM4.15bil) are usually known as unicorns.

Curiosity within the Center East’s nascent know-how business has been choosing up after Uber final 12 months agreed to purchase Careem and Inc acquired in 2017. Virtually 600 start-ups acquired greater than US$700mil (RM2.9bil) in funding final 12 months, in accordance with a MAGNiTT report.

Jakovljevic, who has an MBA from Stanford College, will assist develop corporations like Trukker, a digital market for land freight that raised one of many largest preliminary rounds of capital for a start-up within the area, and Mrsool, a supply app that’s extra common than Uber and Fb Inc in Saudi Arabia.

STV began operations in 2017 with funding from Saudi Telecom Co. It’s contemplating elevating a second fund of not less than US$500mil (RM2.07bil), Tarabzouni stated in October. – Bloomberg

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