Saudi digital security firm Elm goes public, raising $1.6 billion
Elm, a Saudi-based cybersecurity firm, has become the first security technology company to go public in the Middle East. The company went public via a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) on February 25, 2021 and raised a staggering $1.6 billion in its initial public offering (IPO). The IPO is a major milestone for Elm as it will use the funds to continue growing its business and expand its services into new markets.
Founded in 2012 by Ahmed Mutabakani and Saleh Al-Fahad, Elm specializes in cyber-physical security solutions to protect networks, critical assets and information by combining cloud computing with artificial intelligence. By leveraging its services, customers can detect malicious traffic more quickly, safeguard their infrastructure against advanced persistent threats (APTs), monitor user behavior for suspicious activities and reduce online fraud.
Currently, the company serves 400 enterprise customers worldwide including several of the largest global organizations from banking and finance. Furthermore, it provides white hat hacking solutions that enable organizations to better address security vulnerabilities in their system before they get exploited by cybercriminals or hackers.
Saudi Digital Security Firm Elm Sets IPO Price at Top of Range
Saudi digital security firm Elm, has set its IPO price at the top of its range and will begin trading on the Saudi stock exchange, Riyadh’s Tadawul. The company raised nearly $1.6 billion, making it one of the biggest IPOs on the exchange. Previously, one of the largest IPOs on the Saudi Tadawul was Saudi Aramco’s debut in 2019.
Let’s take a closer look at Elm and the background of its IPO.
Saudi Digital Security Firm Elm
Elm is a Saudi digital security firm founded in 2017 and headquartered in Riyadh. They are a full-service cybersecurity solutions provider, focusing on providing customers with top-tier solutions for protecting their systems and data from cyberattacks. Elm offers various services, from system monitoring to identity and access management, to help keep networks, applications, devices and data safe.
The company focuses primarily on the banking and financial sectors and government services in the Middle East. With so many organizations relying heavily now on digital infrastructure for operations, Elm provides a range of services to help protect them from security breaches or other malicious acts. Their customers range from small- to medium-sized organizations to large enterprises across the Gulf states.
Recently Elm completed its initial public offering (IPO) on the Saudi stock exchange Tadawul, raising USD 1.6 billion in capitalization — making it one of the biggest IPOs ever in the region. The company listed more than 1 billion shares during its IPO at SR30 (USD 8) each bringing total market value up to SR21 billion (USD 5.6 billion). Following its IPO launch Elm become one of the largest companies listed on Tadawul by trading volume and capitalization value surpassing other leading firms such as STC Group and Bank AlJazira.
Saudi Stock Exchange
The Saudi Stock Exchange, also known as Tadawul, is the sole securities exchange in Saudi Arabia and was established in 2007. It is regulated and controlled by the Capital Market Authority (CMA) based on the Capital Market Law. It began operations in June 2008 with its first listing, Saudi British Bank; since then, it has become one of the leading exchanges in the Gulf region and has become increasingly attractive to international investors including those from Europe and North America.
Tadawul provides stockbroker services for institutions across all sectors and investors interested in investing or trading on the Exchange. It operates efficient electronic systems for trading securities, including real-time Gross Settlement System Transfers (RTGS), which provide smooth payments services for settling all transactions between banks, investors and companies promptly with high security standards through its automated control system MISK.
By going public on Tadawul, Elm is joining a list of leading companies such as Aramco who have launched successful initial public offerings (IPOs).
Saudi digital security firm Elm recently went public, raising approximately $1.6 billion. This comes after the firm set its IPO price at the top of the range, signaling strong confidence by investors in the future of Elm. Going public is a major milestone for the firm and provides a source of capital for continued growth and expansion.
Let’s dive into the details of Elm’s IPO.
Elm, a Saudi-based digital security firm, sold 473.15 million shares at 77 riyals ($20.53) apiece in its Initial Public Offering (IPO), raising $1.6 billion. The IPO was 1.7 times oversubscribed, and the company’s IPO price values Elm at 16.2 times 2021 estimated earnings per share, according to Refinitiv data, making it more expensive than other regional digital security companies such as RSA Security and Palo Alto Networks that are trading at 28 and 24 times respective 2021 earnings per share.
The profits from the Elm IPO will be used to develop its suite of services in information technology security, mobile device management and cloud computing protection solutions for businesses across the Middle East region.
Demand for Shares
The demand for the Elm shares exceeded all expectations, with the offering being oversubscribed by more than 4x. There was strong interest in Elm’s IPO from individual and institutional investors, including family offices and pension funds. This indicates a high level of confidence in the company’s prospects.
The demand for Elm’s IPO drove the share price above its initial listing price of SAR 48 ($12.80) on its first day of trading, closing at SAR 51.03 ($13.60). This reflects not only increased investor confidence but also provides a significant return to early investors who originally purchased shares at SAR 10 per share before the IPO offering.
As part of their post-IPO activities, Elm will use a portion of the proceeds from their public offering to accelerate growth and increase their development efforts as they expand their digital services capabilities. The strategic investments that inspire this public offering will provide greater value for creating innovative digital experiences, shaping customer needs and continuing expansion throughout Saudi Arabia and beyond.
After its initial public offering (IPO) on Wednesday, digital security firm Elm opened 9 percent higher at Riyadh’s Tadawul stock exchange valuing the company at $15.6 billion and adding to the index’s record-breaking week.
As demand for IPO shares exceeded supply, the market reacted positively for Elm being able to raise $1.6 billion in its debut listing, making it the Middle East’s biggest technology IPO. Analysts speculate that Elm may become even bigger in coming days as public retail investors get their hands on stock and raise prices further.
Investors have seemed eager to capitalize on high potential tech companies in Saudi Arabia despite differing views regarding regional geopolitics concerning how businesses operate domestically and globally, thus highlighting the potential of local markets’ larger economy. This is particularly true of Elm as it aims to offer a digital platform based on blockchain technology that can provide data privacy solutions to help companies worldwide boost their security infrastructure as technology advances.
Analysts are also expecting high demand from institutional investors due to an increased interest in digital securities after Elm’s successful IPO debut marking a major milestone for Saudi Arabian firms looking to go public while carefully navigating their way through geopolitical complexities.
The IPO of Saudi digital security firm Elm was a huge success, as the company raised $1.6 billion and set the IPO price at the top of its range. This is expected to greatly impact the Saudi tech industry, as it will be the first Saudi tech company to list on an overseas market.
In this article, we’ll be exploring this IPO’s impact.
Saudi Digital Security Market
Today’s news that Saudi digital security firm Elm has gone public will likely have a long-term impact on the Saudi digital security market.
The firm’s successful Initial Public Offering (IPO) of $1.6 billion will help drive future growth in the sector and draw more interest from investors. The listing will enable Elm to expand its current services in Saudi Arabia and further afield into other markets with potential for the company to grow.
Elm provides intelligence and threat detection solutions for core national infrastructures in Saudi Arabia such as government buildings, airports, power plants, banks and critical IT systems. The IPO will help fund projects that seek to make these sectors more secure and advanced through innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and machine learning (ML).
Furthermore, it will help Elm create new research facilities and attract talent from around the world with competitive salaries which can drive further innovation in the sector due to increased competition. This could result in further technological advances which benefit companies or organizations globally investing or looking at investing in digital security markets within Saudi Arabia.
Overall, the successful listing of Elm will likely lead to an increase of confidence amongst investors that this sector has long term prospects for growth and therefore increase investments into similar developments across the Middle East region which could demonstrate a strong medium-term impact on the domestic digital security market.
Global Digital Security Market
The success of Saudi cybersecurity company Elm’s initial public offering highlights the growth of the global digital security industry. In its IPO, Elm, a technology firm based in Riyadh, raised $1.6 billion in the biggest tech listing on a Saudi stock exchange and the largest flotation ever on any Middle East exchange. The funds will go toward expanding and modernizing digital security services in industries such as banking, finance, health and government across Saudi Arabia.
The move comes amid increasing demand for reliable digital systems that protect companies’ data from malicious cyberattacks and other threats to their IT infrastructure. This has led to an surge in the global market for digital security solutions, expected to rise from $182 billion in 2017 to $240 billion by 2021.
Although North America dominates this market due to investments by tech companies such as Microsoft and IBM, recent trends suggest that Middle Eastern countries could become new hubs for cybersecurity operations over time. This is largely due to increased regulatory pressure on businesses across the region to protect their customer data beyond basic legal requirements such as GDPR or local banking laws.
As Elm’s IPO demonstrates, rising interest in protecting data has expanded opportunities within this sector and helped grow its value throughout both Eastern and Western markets. It remains unclear how broadly this trend will penetrate existing markets. Still, it signals an expansion of cybersecurity services into regions lacking effective solutions for protecting customer data from malicious actors.
The listing of Elm Technology on the Saudi Stock Exchange signifies the increasing importance both regionally and internationally of digital security. It also demonstrates the positive outlook being taken by regional investors on technology startups and innovation in the Middle East.
With its recent listing, Elm Technology has achieved a major milestone in terms of connectivity, impact, growth, and confidence among regional investors. The newly minted public company will continue to invest in protecting the digital space for all users with its slew of advanced security solutions. Ultimately, bringing greater security protections to global customers is Elm’s mission and they look forward to continuing that journey with more cash now through their IPO.
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