Here we go a fresh batch of startups who made believers out of investors in the GCC MENA region.
Riyadh-headquartered restaurant management platform Foodics has raised $20 million in a Series B round, taking its total funding to date to $28 million.
The announcement comes on the back of Foodics expansion into micro-lending. The startup has secured a $100 mn commitment about 4 months ago from Saudi-based Maleem Investments for Foodics Capital, which will offer Shariah-compliant microloans to F&B and retail merchants in the Kingdom.
Started as a cloud-based POS system for restaurants, Foodics now has big fintech ambitions focused on the F&B and retail sector of Saudi and internationally.
Foodics’ software is available in English, Arabic, and French (with a Spanish version in the works).
Foodics claims to have served over 10,000 F&B brands to date who have processed more than 5 billion orders through its 50,000 terminals.
The company offers a POS system, inventory management, table management, waiter digital menus, and employee timesheets, as part of its core solutions.
Foodics also has a marketplace for F&B managers or owners with over 100 apps/solutions that can be easily integrated with Foodics’ software to make the most out of it.
Sprout FZCO- UAE
UAE start-up Sprout FZCO received funding for $200,000 to be used for retail expansion of products and services.
Sprout FZCO is pioneering a new era of kids’ food production with a science-based, health-first approach.
Sprout foods are exclusively made of whole plants and heavily use locally sourced and organic ingredients, making it the UAE’s first 100% plant-based kids food business.
The company is also building an (AI) technology powered end-to-end nutrition management app which will help parents navigate child nutrition & health in ways currently not possible.
Following a zero-waste aspiration for their direct-to-consumer channel, all foods are made to order and avoid unnecessary food waste. But the company goes a step beyond; all meals are sold in glass jars which are recollected and reused making Sprout another UAE’s proud first, i.e. a full-circle reusable packaging food business.
All Sprout recipes are prepared in collaboration with nutrition experts.
Cairo-based property tech startup Sakneen has raised $1.1 mn in a seed round led by Algebra Ventures.
Founded in late 2019, Sakneen makes buying and selling homes easier through its property portal where users browse through different options on the platform and filter them using property type, location, price range, finishing type, delivery date, and a few other details.
Ramy Khorshed, the co-founder and CEO of Sakneen told MENAbytes “We curate our content to manage quality and prevent duplication. This means that sellers compete over positioning rather than over listings.”
The startup has also built an internal inventory management system to aggregate and manage listings and an agent-facing application for iOS and Android.
Sakneen has won a partnership with Coldwell Banker Egypt and plans to use the latest funds to expand its team by hiring talent and continue developing differentiated solutions for home buyers and sellers.
Riyadh-based peer-to-peer lending platform Raqamyah has raised $2.3 mn from its latest funding drive.
Raqamyah is a fintech startup that connects small businesses with financiers and has facilitated more than 40 loans for SMEs per year.
Companies can apply for funding through the platform and once approved, their needs are listed for financiers to assess within 3 days.
Once an agreement has been reached, lenders begin receiving repayments, with SMEs able to make monthly installments through ATMs and other digital payment methods.
The Kingdom recorded a 35% year-on-year increase in the number of investment deals in the technology startup sector last year, according to a study by data research platform Magnitt.
And the country accounted for 18% of the 496 investment deals throughout the MENA last year. In terms of the total value of deals, Saudi Arabia saw a surge of 55% year-on-year to $152 million.
Dubai-headquartered fintech FlexxPay has raised $3 mn in a pre-Series A round comprised of equity debt.
A part of this round was announced in December 2019, taking their total funding to date to $4.5 mn.
FlexxPay had started in 2018 by offering its services to employers in the UAE but later also expanded to Saudi and now plans to launch its platform in Bahrain as well. It partners with corporates to enable their employees to access a portion of their already earned salaries, commissions, pensions, and end of service benefits, through its online platform.
HR departments’ workload is reduced by around 20% by eliminating time spent processing salary advance requests.
The startup makes money by charging the employees a small transaction fee to use the service. The corporates don’t pay anything.