Iris Capital manages STC Ventures, the newly established Saudi Telecom Group Venture Fund


Paris, Riyadh, November 21, 2011 – Saudi Telecom Company (STC) Group announced its investment in STC Ventures, the venture capital fund which specializes in start up, small, and medium sized companies operating in the field of IT and telecoms in the Saudi and Middle East markets as well as other international markets. STC Group will invest an initial amount of $50 million that is self financed making it the only investor in the fund at this stage. Other local and international companies will be invited to invest in this fund at a later stage.

Following the signing of the agreement, Eng Saud bin Majed Al Daweesh, STC Group CEO explained “The establishment of this Fund comes as part of the Kingdom’s strategic direction and its drive to transform to a knowledge-based economy by enriching the spirit of both initiative and innovation.” He added that this investment is an affirmation of the Group’s belief in the various opportunities available in this field as well as being a logical step for the Group to have first hand access in new technologies and modern services and enter into new partnerships to diversify its revenue base in regional markets. Doing so will maintain its market leadership in the telecommunications sector regionally.

STC Group CEO highlighted that an agreement has been made with one of the leading venture capital companies which is Iris Capital following a series of evaluations targeting global venture capital companies. “We are very proud to have been selected by STC as fund manager. STC Ventures creates the leading VC player in IT and communication in the Middle-East region. This represents a unique opportunity to be at the forefront of venture capital development in a very dynamic and fast growing region.” comments Antoine Garrigues, Managing Partner of Iris Capital.

About Iris Capital
Iris Capital is a Pan-European venture capital capital fund manager specializing in t he field of digital economy: new media, communication, information technology and Internet services. Since its inception in 1986, the Iris Capital team has invested more than €900 million in more than 200 innovative companies. Iris Capital targets opportunities in fast – growing service or technology companies. Iris provides active support to its portfolio companies on the basis of its strong sector specialization and experience. Based in Paris and Düsseldorf, the Iris Capital team has invested to date in 18 European countries as well as in North America.
Contact: Antoine Garrigues, Managing Partner, T: +33 1 45 62 73 61

About STC Group
Headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with a work force of 25,000, STC Group is the largest telecommunications company in t he Middle East and North Africa (MENA), based on market capitalization, total revenue and number of employees, and was recently rank ed in the top 20 mobile net work s in the world. The Group owns and operates the largest and most advanced mobile infrastructure and broadband services in the Middle East and has made major investments with global reach in various continents, operating in Turkey, Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, and South Africa. In total, STC Group provides integrated mobile, fixed and broadband communications services to more than 142 million