LEAP 2024 Sees Record Tech Sector Investments

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LEAP 2024, the globe’s premier technology exhibition currently underway at the Riyadh Exhibition and Convention Centre, has marked a historic milestone with investments soaring close to a staggering US$13 billion. Following an initial announcement of a monumental USD$11.9 billion in investments earlier this week, the event witnessed yet another wave of funding, totaling over US$888 million, unveiled today.

The investments showcased at LEAP 2024, which continues until March 7, are set to bolster local startup ecosystems across various industries, including digital payments, Egaming, and Artificial Intelligence. Notable contributions include Investcorp’s launch of a US$500 million growth stage fund, Oasis Capital’s Fund II with a capital of US$100 million, and the establishment of the US$40 million Gaming and Esports Investment Fund by the National Development Fund and the Social Development Bank, managed by Impact46.

Furthermore, significant initiatives were announced by entities such as Takamol Holdings, Plug and Play, and X by Unifonic, further solidifying the event’s status as a catalyst for technological innovation and investment.

Michael Champion, CEO of Tahaluf, the strategic joint venture organizing LEAP alongside the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, expressed optimism about the event’s impact on Saudi Arabia’s technology landscape, emphasizing its role in fostering collaborations and partnerships vital for industry growth.

Zoom Enhances Presence in Saudi Arabia with Cutting-Edge Offerings

Tech giant Zoom has unveiled its expanded commitment to Saudi Arabia at LEAP 2024, introducing several groundbreaking advancements aimed at enhancing user experiences in the Kingdom. Among the announcements are plans to make Zoom AI Companion available to customers by July 2024, followed by the rollout of Zoom Phone in October and Zoom Contact Centre by year-end.

Founder and CEO Eric Yuan also shared insights into the future of virtual meetings, envisioning a scenario where AI-driven ‘Digital Twins’ could participate on behalf of users, revolutionizing the way individuals engage in remote collaborations.

UK and Saudi Arabia Forge Strategic Research Partnership

Against the backdrop of LEAP 2024, the UK and Saudi Arabia have sealed a landmark agreement to bolster research collaboration in science and technology. The deal, aimed at addressing global challenges ranging from food security to clean energy, underscores the shared commitment of both nations to harnessing innovation for societal progress.

Andrew Griffith MP, Minister of State for Science, Research and Innovation, highlighted the significance of the partnership in advancing scientific endeavors and realizing mutual aspirations for technological advancement.

AI Integration Revolutionizes Content Creation, META Predicts Blockbuster Times Ahead

At LEAP’s Creative Economy and Gaming Orbital Stage, industry experts discussed the transformative impact of AI integration on content creation. Moon Baz, Head of Global Partnerships at META, emphasized the rise of creator-first brands and the role of AI in enhancing storytelling, predicting a surge in AI-generated content across various mediums.

META also outlined projections indicating a significant uptick in AI-driven content creation, signaling a paradigm shift in the entertainment industry.

Saudi Arabia’s Ambitious Space Exploration Plans Unveiled at LEAP 2024

On the Space-themed stage at LEAP 2024, the Saudi Space Agency (SSA) outlined ambitious plans to cement the Kingdom’s position as a leader in space exploration. With a vision to establish a permanent presence on the Moon and eventually venture to Mars, SSA highlighted the pivotal role of spin-off technologies in driving societal advancements.

Astronaut Rayyanah Barnawi emphasized the broader benefits of space exploration, citing its potential to catalyze innovation and economic growth.

Cognitive Robots and Floating Cities: The Future Unveiled at LEAP 2024

Delving into the future of robotics, David Reger, CEO of Neura Robotics, discussed the evolution of cognitive robots capable of collaborative interactions with humans. At LEAP’s Future Energy & Smart Cities stage, Itai Madamombe, CEO of Oceanix, highlighted Saudi Arabia’s potential as a hub for sustainable floating cities, presenting innovative solutions to address urban challenges and climate change.

Both sessions underscored the transformative potential of technology in reshaping societal landscapes and driving sustainable development.

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