Complex Made Simple

Fundraising for 4 Arab startups in January 2021

The year is off a good start for Saudi and UAE startups with 3 companies raising millions in funds on the heels of a slow H2 in 2020

Qoyod, a Saudi cloud-based accounting software provider for SMEs, announced a Series A investment round of $2.1 million Stake is planning to offer local investors an opportunity to invest in the property market with as little as $544 MENA startups raised over a record $1 billion of investment in 2020, indicating a 13% increase year-over-year

The year is off a good start for Saudi and UAE startups with 3 companies raising millions in funds on the heels of a slow H2 in 2020. 

Read: 5 Arab companies and startups raise more millions in December via fundraising

Salasa- Saudi

Saudi-based Salasa, a cloud-based turnkey solution for e-commerce businesses providing access to a professional logistics fulfillment network in Saudi Arabia, announced it had raised capital worth $8.6 million in a Series A round. 

The current investment will help Salasa to expand its services to additional states within Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries, expand its team and grow its network of partners. 

Commenting on the investment, Salasa Co-Founder and CEO Abdulmajeed Alyemni said: “Our clients receive the products they order online at their doorstep in a click of a button. Since its launch, Salasa has been a game-changer in the Kingdom, helping brands grow faster by eliminating logistical pains. To-date Salasa has shipped more than 10 million products and has served more than 300 local and international clients across more than 15 industries.”

Established in late 2016, Salasa was influenced by a report published by Bain and Company, that the e-commerce market in MENA was expected to reach $28.5 billion by 2022. 

This inspired the founders to come up with a technology company that streamlines e-commerce fulfilment.  

Qoyod- Saudi

Qoyod, a Saudi Arabian cloud-based accounting software provider for small and medium businesses in KSA and the region, announced a Series A investment round of $2.1 mn  

Qoyod enables thousands of businesses to manage their day-to-day accounting and finance operations, with access to powerful real-time reporting and analytics tools. Qoyod believes that it is well-positioned to be the one-stop financial solution for SMEs in the region. A few product roll-outs are in the pipeline, offering more comprehensive features that connect business owners to complementary financial products and services. 

Abdullah Altamami, Founding Partner and CEO of Merak Capital, said: “Internationally, businesses are spending $6.4 billion annually on accounting software, which is expected to reach $10.5 bn by the end of 2027, a 7.4% growth rate. Locally, the direct market exceeds $500 mn and is growing more than 13% annually, while the adjacent market opportunity exceeds $2 bn. Yet, we don’t have a ubiquitous SaaS accounting platform with localized features that are integrated within the local infrastructure. We envision Qoyod to be the player that fills this gap and captures the increasing demand.”

Stake- UAE

A Dubai-based real estate-focused Fintech firm is planning to offer local investors an opportunity to invest in the property market with as little as 2,000 Dirhams ($544).

Stake is currently based in the Fintech Hive, part of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC).  

The company has secured $2 mn in capital, with an additional funding round now taking place.

As first reported by Arab News, Stake lets traders and investors purchase shares in properties based in Dubai. They’re able to earn returns when quarterly dividends are distributed. People can start investing with only 2,000 dirhams and may acquire as much as 33% or a third of the shares in any property listed.

At present, Stake’s management is building various properties such as residential buildings in Downtown Dubai, Dubai Marina, and Business Bay.

Read: Additional Arab startup funding in December and India’s 2020 investor appetite in startups

Ziina- UAE

Ziina, the UAE’s first social Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payment application, officially announced it is participating in Y-Combinator (YC)’s Winter 2021 batch. This makes Ziina the third start-up from the UAE to be recognized by YC, the elite start-up accelerator.

Ziina teamZiina’s YC acceptance coincides with its latest round of seed funding led by Jasoor Ventures (an arm of the Oman Technology Fund), with participation from Class 5 Global, Long Journey Ventures, Graph Ventures, Jabbar Internet Group, FJ Labs, and Wamda.  

Y-Combinator, one of the world’s most successful and selective start-up engines, places 2% of applicants who pass their process through its robust accelerator program which has propelled businesses such as Airbnb, Stripe, and Dropbox to their current level of success worth a combined $200 billion.