PIF-backed Jada to invest in Aliph Capital to boost SME ecosystem in Saudi Arabia

Aliph Fund I is a $250 million target private equity fund based in ADGM

Bandr Alhomaly, left, chief executive of Jada Fund of Funds, and Huda Al Lawati, founder and chief executive of Aliph Capital, signing the agreement. Photo: Aliph Capital
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Jada Fund of Funds, a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, has joined forces with private equity fund manager Aliph Capital to support small and medium enterprises in the kingdom.

Jada has said it will invest in Aliph Capital’s GCC-focused fund Aliph Fund I.

Aliph Fund I is a $250 million target PE fund based in Abu Dhabi Global Market, and invests in mid-sized GCC companies.

The collaboration aims to bolster strategic and sustainable investments made though private equity and venture capital, the companies said in a statement on Thursday.

The partnership reflects a “joint objective: to bolster SMEs, an integral component of Saudi Arabia's economic framework, and to equip them with capital, talent and technology”, said Bandr Alhomaly, chief executive of Jada Fund of Funds.

“We believe that strong managers play a key role by applying their expertise in selecting good assets and guiding portfolio companies towards contributing to Saudi Arabia’s economic diversification objectives."

Jada, which was established by the PIF with an investment capital of nearly $1 billion, is a critical component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 tasked with leading the development of a thriving private equity and venture capital ecosystem in the Arab world’s biggest economy.

In June, it committed to investing in Investcorp’s $500 million Saudi pre-initial public offering growth fund.

In October, Aliph Capital raised $125 million for its maiden fund from Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ.

The following month, the firm completed an investment deal with the acquisition of the UAE's largest pet business, The Pet Shop.

“The potential of SMEs within the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is vast, and I am delighted that Aliph Capital has the opportunity to play an impactful role in realising that opportunity,” said Huda Al Lawati, founder and chief executive of Aliph Capital.

Saudi Arabia led the Middle East and North Africa region in attracting the highest number and value of venture capital investment for its start-ups in the first quarter of 2023.

The kingdom was the most funded for start-ups in the three months to March, attracting $359 million out of the total $818 million capital for the Mena region, a report compiled by start-ups platform Magnitt showed.

Egypt came in second with $284 million, followed by the UAE at $152 million, the report found.

Updated: August 31, 2023, 2:43 PM