Arab News, Tuesday, Jan 26, 2021 | Jamadi Al Thani 13, 1442
Aramco’s entrepreneurship arm Wa’ed invests $500k in teaching platform
Saudi Arabia: Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco,
has invested $500,000 in Ynmo, the first Arabic-English software platform for
teachers of students with disabilities.
The funding, through Wa’ed Ventures, will help the Makkah-based startup invest
in its software, hire more staff and expand its services.
“With Wa’ed’s support, we are going to greatly expand the number of children
with disabilities whom we can help in Saudi Arabia and beyond,” said Abdullah
Murad, Ynmo co-founder. “It’s a way for us to give back to our community and
have a big and sustainable social impact.”
“Our mission is to advance the Saudi startup economy, and Ynmo is an innovative
solution to a pressing issue affecting many Saudi children and their families,”
said Wa’ed Managing Director Wassim Basrawi. “At Wa’ed, we are looking to
support promising Saudi entrepreneurs such as [the developers behind] Ynmo, who
are the architects of our Kingdom’s economic future.”
According to the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Human Resource and Social
Development, there are around 100,000 students with disabilities in the Kingdom.
However, Ynmo co-founder Fahad Al-Nemary said the actual number could be as high
as 14 percent of all students, in line with the global average.
Established in 2011, Wa’ed provides institutional venture capital investment for
Saudi-based startups, as well as end-to-end support in mentoring, incubation and
Earlier this year, Wa’ed reported that it had tripled the amount of money loaned
to startups in the Kingdom last year.
The Dhahran-based initiative gave out 12 loans to small and medium-sized
enterprises (SMEs), up from four in 2019, with the value surging to SR31 million
($8.27 million), up from SR10 million in 2019.
In terms of venture capital funding, Wa’ed deployed SR43 million to SMEs, up 34
“In a very challenging year, I am proud of the Wa’ed family, which includes my
team and our resilient entrepreneurs, for rising to the challenges and keeping
us on track to deliver an even greater impact in 2021,” Basrawi said.