Saudi Arabian AI start-up Intelmatix secures funding from STV and Sultan Holdings

Company using latest technology to improve operations, productivity and foster growth of governments and private sector

Artificial intelligence engineer- An engineer looks over Roboy, a humanoid robot developed at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the University of Zurich, at the 2014 CeBIT technology trade fair on March 9, 2014 in Hanover, central Germany. Standing at 1.2 m (3.9 ft), Roboy is designed to have the appearance of a child and to one day be used as a helper robot for the sick and elderly. Unlike more traditional robots, which have motors in their joints, Roboy is a tendon-driven robot, allowing for more fluent, human-like movements. Great Britain is partner country of the fair considered as the world's biggest high-tech fair running from March 10 to 14, 2014.      AFP PHOTO / JOHN MACDOUGALL (Photo by JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP)
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Intelmatix, a Riyadh-based artificial intelligence start-up, said on Tuesday it has closed a new funding round led by Saudi Arabia's technology venture capital fund STV.

Sultan Holdings, an investor in some of the Middle East and North Africa’s largest companies, also participated in the round.

The companies did not disclose the amount of investment.

“We are excited to partner with Intelmatix on its journey towards harnessing deep-tech for advancing the horizons of AI and reaching new frontiers of its application,” Abdulrahman Tarabzouni, STV’s founder and chief executive, said.

Saudi Vision 2030 provided the regulatory and technical enablers to support the launch of Intelmatix
Anas Alfaris, Intelmatix co-founder and chief executive

Intelmatix, which was founded this year by a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates with a proven track record, is using AI and advanced analytics to design technology that improves operations, productivity, growth and sustainability for governments and the private sector.

The start-up is focusing on location intelligence that maps the relationships between spatial, social, economic and demographic data and makes predictions using AI and data analytics.

Location intelligence helps in taking important business decisions, such as choosing the most profitable location for a new branch, the best land in which to invest or the optimum placement of storage and operations centres for logistics companies.

It helps governments to address critical planning and management challenges such as streamlining emergency services, efficiently operating utilities or establishing a new hospital.

Location intelligence offers opportunities worth billions, analysts say.

In Saudi Arabia alone, the location intelligence industry exceeds 2 billion riyals ($533.2m) annually and is valued at more than 100bn riyals globally, Anas Alfaris, co-founder and chief executive Intelmatix, said.

“The idea of ​​Intelmatix was not born overnight … our strategy crystallised through years of collaboration between the R&D sector and the business sector … Saudi Vision 2030 provided the regulatory and technical enablers to support the launch of Intelmatix,” he said.

Intelmatix said it aims to become a leading AI and data analytics firm in the Mena region through its operations in Riyadh, London and Boston.

“We recognise the revolution occurring today in the business world due to AI and advanced analytics … for us, Intelmatix is more than an investment, it is a key strategic step to advance the prospects of AI adoption and enablement in the business sector,” Naif Al Kabeer, chairman of Sultan Holdings, said.

Saudi Arabia is aiming to attract foreign and local investment worth $20bn in the fields of data and AI in the next 10 years. AI is expected to contribute up to 12.4 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product – equivalent to $135bn – by 2030, a report by consultancy PwC said.

In October, Saudi Arabia launched its National Strategy for Data and Artificial Intelligence, which aims to make the Arab world’s biggest economy a leader in AI while helping it to diversify the economy and reduce reliance on hydrocarbons.

Updated: August 03, 2021, 6:00 AM