The Saudi British Joint Business Council (SBJBC UK) has spearheaded a delegation comprising 30 prominent UK fintech companies and investors, slated to visit Riyadh from January 29 to January 31, 2024.
This marks the second fintech mission organized by SBJBC, standing out as one of the largest sector-specific delegations ever to venture into the region. The mission closely aligns with Saudi Arabia’s trajectory towards open banking and the rapid expansion of its fintech ecosystem.
Co-sponsored by Saudi Awwal Bank and Geidea, with support from the UK’s Department for Business & Trade, the Saudi Ministry of Communications & IT, and Fintech Saudi, the three-day event will encompass crucial meetings with local stakeholders and potential partners. The highlight of the visit is the UK/Saudi Fintech Venture Day at The Garage Innovation District on January 30, featuring interactive panel discussions and pitches from leading UK and Saudi startups.
The UK, a global fintech leader, secures its position as the top fintech market in Europe, having attracted $5.1 billion across 409 deals in 2023. With approximately 2,500 fintech companies, it boasts a diverse range of specializations, including digital payment technologies and Islamic Fintech.
Saudi Arabia takes the lead in the MENA region in venture capital volume, experiencing a remarkable 33% growth in 2023, reaching a record $1.4 billion. The Kingdom is swiftly progressing towards becoming a regional fintech hub, with fintech accounting for 60-70% of early-stage deal flow.
Chris Innes-Hopkins, UK Executive Director of SBJBC, expressed enthusiasm, stating, “SBJBC is thrilled to lead this second UK fintech mission to Saudi Arabia, fostering new partnerships between our two fintech ecosystems.” Peter Ashby, Director of Trade & Investment at the British Embassy in Riyadh, and Deputy UK Trade Commissioner for the Middle East, highlighted the alignment of Saudi Arabia’s fintech aspirations with Vision 2030, emphasizing commitment to fostering sector growth through robust delegations.