Five years into the Saudi Vision 2030 program, venture capital funding in Saudi Arabia has risen to an all-time high with a recorded $151.9 million in investment raised across 88 deals in 2020.
The U.S. has launched investigations into Harvard and Yale universities over suspicions they received undisclosed funds from foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia and China.
Saudi Aramco is worth up to $1.7 trillion at the price range set by the oil giant, below the $2 trillion sought by Saudi's crown prince but putting it in the running to become the world's biggest IPO.
Tech startups that presented their products at Y Combinator Demo Day had clever solutions to improve everything from health care to video games. One thorny problem that the crowd at the event has not figured out how to deal with is Silicon Valley's inconvenient connection to Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia's largest share offering in four years has been postponed for two days amid rising geopolitical tensions and a looming trade war between the U.S. and China which have rattled global markets.
A tough, new enforcement regime is becoming a geopolitical minefield for venture capitalists and startups. This is Silicon Valley in 2019 -- a playground for foreign countries eager to fulfill their grand strategies.
"We have increased the quantum of venture capital available to regional startups, creating a completely new playing field for Mena VC," said Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, chief executive of STV.
Silicon Valley is beginning to question its ties with Saudi Arabia. But there are many skeptics these days who privately question whether the relationship will actually change once the news of the day moves away from the Middle East.
Since the disappearance of a dissident journalist in a Saudi Arabian consulate, some of the most powerful figures in business are distancing themselves from the kingdom. There is one prominent exception: Masayoshi Son, chief executive of the SoftBank Group.
Blackstone, the firm which is relying on Saudi Arabia to provide half the money for its planned $40 billion infrastructure fund, waved off concerns about funding even as controversy rages over the disappearance of a Saudi journalist that has frayed relations between Wall Street and the oil-rich kingdom.