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Saudi Arabia approves two new AI companies

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are both intent on growing their artificial intelligence sectors.

The Saudi Ministry of Finance announced Monday that it approved two more artificial intelligence companies to operate in the kingdom. The ministry tweeted that Faceki and QVALON now have entrepreneurial licenses in Saudi Arabia.

Faceki, which has offices in Bahrain and the United States, sells facial recognition software that is used to verify identities. The company announced in August that it raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round led by Riyadh-based Nama Ventures. Seed funding pertains to early-stage startups. 

QVALON is based in New York and uses artificial intelligence to deliver customer service-related services. 

Why it matters: Saudi Arabia wants to attract more artificial intelligence companies per its Vision 2030 economic diversification initiative. In September, the Saudi government announced plans to establish a new AI center in the kingdom. A month later, Saudi Arabia’s industry minster went to Silicon Valley to discuss AI with companies there. 

Saudi Arabia’s state-owned oil company, Aramco, is among the Saudi entities investing in AI

Know more: The United Arab Emirates is also heavily pushing to become an AI hub. The Israeli investment platform OurCrowd recently announced a $60 million AI center in Abu Dhabi

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