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Regional startups get Series and Seed funding, Aug-Sept, Part II of IV

An all Saudi startup lineup specializing in cars, BNPL, e-commerce, P2P lending, and social media influencing, raised in total over $105 million, and looking to expand to a location near you

Saudi-based car marketplace Syarah has secured $20 million in a Series B round Buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Tabby will accelerate expansion plans into new Arab markets Saudi’s first micro-influencers marketplace Flicron closed an equity crowdfunding round worth $1.7 million

An all Saudi startup lineup specializing in cars, BNPL, e-commerce, P2P lending, and social media influencing, raised in total over $105 million, and looking to expand to a location near you.

investment trends
Image Source: Traxcn

1- Syarah- Riyadh

Saudi-based car marketplace Syarah has secured $20 million in a Series B round.

Founded in 2015, Syarah allows its consumers to buy new cars online and have them delivered to their doorstep.

In 2019, Syarah started selling used cars as well, accompanied by a free car inspection report, a five-day money-back guarantee, and a one-year warranty.

used cars

The company said it will use the funding to broaden the offering on its platform, expand its reach into the MENA region, and improve the quality of its services on offer.

The startup claims to have sold 6,000 cars online thus far, with a top-line number exceeding $80 mn.

2- Tabby- Riyadh

Buy now, pay later (BNPL) firm Tabby will accelerate expansion plans into new Arab markets after raising $50 mn in its latest funding round, giving it a $300 mn valuation.

Tabby is already available in Saudi and the UAE where consumers can use its services with over 2,000 merchants including brands such as Adidas and IKEA.

Chief Executive Hosam Arab told Reuters Tabby would be operational in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, and Bahrain in the next few months and would expand into North Africa “towards the beginning of next year.”

UAE-based Tabby plans to double its workforce to around 150 staff, including hiring technical and business development positions, as part of its expansion.

Like other BNPL firms, Tabby offers short-term credit for online and in-store purchases at zero interest to the consumer. The bulk of its revenue is earned via merchant fees though consumers are charged penalty fees if they miss a payment.

To date, Tabby raised more than $130 mn, including $50 mn in debt, which it announced in June.

3- Nana Direct- Riyadh

Nana Direct is an online marketplace for grocery products. It connects the buyers and the sellers on the platform. Users can select the partnered stores based on their location and place orders on the platform. It has its own shopping team who shop for the products from the selected stores and deliver the orders to the customers. The company is delivering the orders to most of the areas in Riyadh and plans to expand its operations to the entire kingdom. The app is available for Android and IOS.

Founded in 2016, the company announced it raised a Series B funding round which was undisclosed, adding to its total Series B funding of $24.6 mn. The company also raised $6.6 mn in February 2019.

4- Forus- Riyadh

Forus Capital, a Saudi-headquartered Islamic P2P lending marketplace, has secured funding via a Series A round for an undisclosed amount.

Driven by Artificial Intelligence, Forus Capital enables investors to invest in a marketplace of alternative loans targeted towards small and medium businesses.

Established in 2019, Forus Capital aims to bridge the gap in SME financing, by offering businesses democratized, easy access to cash.  

Forus Capital
Image Source: news.writecaliber.com

The proceeds from the round will be directed towards supporting innovation, as well as market and product development efforts.

The company revealed that it has provided more than $16 mn in funding to 57 SMEs.

The firm’s API-powered underwriting tech has been developed to digitize the SME financing process, which makes the financing process more efficient and seamless.

5- Flicron- Riyadh

Saudi’s first micro-influencers marketplace Flicron, which provides specialized marketing solutions through social media influencers in Saudi, announced the closing of its second equity crowdfunding round worth $1.7 million.

Established in 2018, Flicron has already connected 9,000+ micro-influencers with 400+ small, medium, and large businesses. At no cost, brands upload a brief and receive crafted content featuring their products, and only pay for content they approve. Micro-influencers who have built fans around a particular passion, get paid for crafting posts where they recommend products.

Flicron seeks to fill the huge demand gap in the Saudi market and facilitate the user experience by providing a complete analysis of influencers with different interests in one place.

Flicron is expansion-minded and plans a strong presence in the Middle East region.