In collaboration with Saudi Arabian Blockchain tech provider Limar, MRHB Network, Fintech DeFi firm will be localizing MRHB’s Souq NFT platform for KSA and GCC markets.

As per the license agreement, the venture will see the localization of MRHB’s Souq NFT platform for the Saudi Arabian and Gulf markets, leveraging Limar’s pioneering experience in blockchain technology and advanced tech solutions.

Limar is a Saudi Teh company that focses on solving problems using advanced technologies since 2017. Limar has since been backed by AlNahdi United Group.It focuses on raising awareness for the adoption of decentralized appliation, or Blockchain networks in Saudi Arabia and the region. Limar is also a member of the Hyperledger Community.

Through this license agreement, Limar has licensed the Souq NFT platform from MRHB to create an Arabic version that caters specifically to Saudi Arabian customers. This localized version will run on a private blockchain developed by Limar, ensuring compliance with the Kingdom’s regulatory frameworks and cultural nuances.

By licensing the Souq NFT platform to Limar, MRHB Network is not only expanding its global footprint but also reinforcing its commitment to ethical and culturally sensitive financial solutions.

Limar has developed a crypto free Web3 ecosystem that will enable the adoption of Web3 in KSA focusing on eliminating the legal constraints of crypto with compleiance and usability at the core. They have developed AlMajra Blockcain and Hesa Wallet that allows startups and organizations to quickly deploy secure private blockchain networks.

Earlier this year, DeFi firm, MRHB built for Ethical and Inclusive DeFi expanded into the Saudi market after receiving a license from the Ministry of Investment. MRHB plans to relocate its research and development team to Riyadh KSA.

UAE University of Sharjah has launched a research project aimed to develop a blockchain metaverse system to preserve the UAE culture and heritage. Working with BSV Blockchain Association, the University of Sharjah plans to retain ownership of UAE culture in the form of digital assets, and then develop an NFT and physical marketplace where users can exchange physical originals as well as NFTs all in a metaverse environment.

Prof. Maamar Bettayeb, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies at The University of Sharjah noted that this was a very pragmatic use case utilizing technologies such as Blockchain, metaverse and NFTs. He states, “The University is serving the community and UAE’s national economy by implementing the vision of the Emirate of Sharjah as well as the UAE in documenting and preserving our history and heritage in both tangible and intangible formats.”

 Mr. Jimmy Nguyen, Bitcoin Association for BSV Founding President, added “We are very excited and pleased with the partnership with a premier institution in the UAE such as the University of Sharjah to develop an innovative solution that utilizes the latest technologies to preserve the nation’s values and history in UAE and the region. Launching a new start-up will help in creating many jobs for the new technology graduates and create new economy for trading antiques, historic and modern artworks in a digital format and in virtual marketplace as NFTs”.

Dr. Mohamed Al Hemairy, the leading researcher at the University of Sharjah explained, “UAE has a very wealthy culture and human heritage, characterised by numerous physical inheritances. Yet new generations and expatriates don’t know much about it, that is why we researched how we could deploy Blockchain to preserve the intellectual property and ownership of the Emirati’s Families inherited treasures and to design a virtual art gallery for the Arabic and Islamic culture, heritage, antiques, historic and modern artworks in a state-of-the-art digital format. These would be digitized in the form that would retain its intellectual property through Non-Fungible Tokens [NFT].”

The heritage and culture of the UAE will be in a virtual art gallery in the Metaverse built on BSV Blockchain.  

Mr. Muhammad Anjum, the Head of the BSV Hub for MESA, commented “Developing relationships and supporting the academic institutions is a key goal of our regional BSV Hub and an impactful way that the blockchain technology can grow in the Middle East. The University of Sharjah has brought a very strong use case to utilize the powerful features of the BSV blockchain. The Dubai Metaverse Strategy is an innovative initiative and a key step towards making UAE the first country in the world in the field of adoption and use of the metaverse. We are confident that we will see numerous engagements between BSV Ecosystem, and the University of Sharjah soon.”

For the fourth time since 2019, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco has participated in an investment round in Data Gumbo, the blockchain enabled smart contract provider. This time Data Gumbo raised 4 million USD in its Series C round led by Saudi Aramco Ventures and Equinor, Norway’s energy operator.

In 2019, Data Gumbo the Houston based blockchain Technology Company which had developed a Blockchain-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform to streamline smart contracts management for industrial customers, completed a 6 million USD Series A equity funding round co-led by Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures, and Equinor.

Then in 2020, Data Gumbo, closed its Series B funding round of 4 million USD led by new investor L37, a Bay Area and Houston-based venture capital company, with Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures as a participant in the round.

In 2021 once more Data Gumbo closed a Series B funding round totaling 7.7 million USD with follow-on investments led by Equinor Ventures, and Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures.

So far, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures has been one of the consistent investors in Data Gumbo. So it was no surprise to once again see Saudi Aramco invest in Data Gumbo’s Series C round, and be a lead investor as well. Saudi Aramco given the amount of investments raised to date by Data Gumbo, has definitely invested millions into the startup.

This funding round follows a year of impressive growth for Data Gumbo, which has introduced the first ever Smart Contract Marketplace with forty smart contract templates ready to be deployed for immediate reduction in transactional friction and grown to over 180 enterprises participating in Data Gumbo’s smart contract network.

Data Gumbo also opened its offices in KSA in 2022. At the time Data Gumbo stated that it was establishing a local presence to take advantage of the regional business opportunities ripe for smart contract network adoption.

Commenting on the recent fund raising, William Fox, CEO of Data Gumbo stated, “We have continued to lead the way in the adoption of smart contracts for industrial use. The partnership with Equinor and Saudi Aramco, and their associated supply chains and partnerships, will continue the momentum for the Data Gumbo’s smart contract network.”

By tapping into existing IIoT data sources to trigger confirmation and payment automation of contractual commercial terms, organizations are able to eliminate the time-consuming process of validating invoices and transactions and fully automating the procure-to-pay and order-to-cash processes. 

Data Gumbo plans to expand its reach, helping any organization who captures field data today to streamline their back office processes and realize time and cost savings.

“While we started in energy, we already have value for bulk commodity haulage, trucking and shipping, with plans to parlay our momentum into other global industries,” commented Andrew Bruce, Founder of Data Gumbo. “Wherever two or more organizations share a contractual relationship that can be verified with a digital source of data, opportunities abound to realize efficiencies and cost savings utilizing our blockchain network.”

Frank Andrasco, Senior Investment Director, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures stated, “Distributed ledger technologies bring win-win efficiencies between industrial companies and their suppliers, and Data Gumbo is at the forefront of introducing this innovation. While they have started in the energy sector, Data Gumbo’s platform has broad industrial applicability.”

To date Saudi Aramco’s Venture arm has participated in all the investment rounds of Data Gumbo, which  has raised a total of close to 21 million USD. One thing known for sure is that Saudi Aramco is backing the Blockchain smart contract service provider, and much more will be seen in the future.