This is part II of the three-part series on MENA startups that raised either a series A or B funding last May.
1. Sary- Riyadh
Saudi B2B e-commerce marketplace Sary has raised $30.5 million in a Series B round taking the company’s total investment raised so far to over $37 mn, making it one of the best-funded startups in Saudi.
Sary connects micro and small businesses (mainly grocery stores and food and beverage businesses) with wholesalers and FMCGs, helping them procure inventory through its mobile apps. In a statement, the company said that its apps have been installed by over 100,000 users and it has served over 30,000 verified retail businesses during the pandemic alone.
The startup witnessed 10x year-over-year growth in 2020 and is currently doing about $500 million in annualized GMV, according to the company.
The supply chain of the Saudi retail market is worth $165 billion.
Sary plans to use the latest funds to further expand its geographical footprint, launch new products and services, and move into new categories.
The Saudi startup also plans to integrate third-party financial services on its platform, a move that will create more value for its clients and add an additional revenue stream to its business.
2. Doctori- Manama
Doctori, a Bahrain-based HealthTech startup, has secured a $500,000 Seed funding round.
Doctori is a National Health Regulatory Authority licensed telemedicine application that connects board-certified doctors with patients through video calls.
The goal of the company is to provide a complete digital solution and make the platform a comprehensive digital hospital, where patients can diagnose, test, and treat in a stress-free environment anywhere, without having to wait in line.
The funds will be used towards enhancing the startup’s Doctor Who app, which launched its services in April 2020, to provide various medical care services for all spectrums of society, and includes more than 300 doctors and consultants who provide their services electronically.
Doctori plans on expanding to Saudi and Kuwait.
3. MyBenefits- Dubai
UAE-based employee benefit platform MyBenefits has raised a $780,000 seed round.
MyBenefits offers a SaaS platform that enables companies to streamline and standardize their staff discounts, rewards, and benefits.
MyBenefits started out as a business-to-business (B2B) marketplace for SMEs to help them get access to corporate rates on a wide variety of social services, such as healthcare. The company launched its prototype for its employee discount and benefits platform back in 2019 and started rolling it out officially in February last year.
Besides the UAE, the startup is accessed by users in eight other countries namely Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Oman, and Qatar. It currently has over 300 companies listed on its platform, servicing around 15,000 employees.
The startup claims to have registered an annual growth rate of 30% and doubled its customer base in the first quarter of 2021. It plans to use the fresh funds to expand into the GCC and for talent acquisition.
4. Foloosi- Dubai
UAE-based fintech startup Foloosi announced that the company has raised $2 mn in its Pre-Series A funding round.
The company aims to establish itself as an online payment enabler in the UAE, empowering SMEs to track, automate, and accelerate every aspect of sales and purchase transactions through a single platform.
The company also said that the fresh capital will help it launch its flagship “Tap on Phone” feature.
Foloosi has also partnered with Visa officially, and soon MasterCard, to offer this innovation in the market in partnership with local financial institutions.
Foloosi “Tap on Phone” contactless payment technology lets users pay just by tapping their card on the seller’s or merchant’s smartphone. It is easy to set up on any smartphone device and provides a secure payment solution for the next billion users.
5. NearPay- Riyadh
NearPay, a 2020 financial payments and technology company, announced the closure of its seed investment tour worth $2.1 mn, adding to nearly $600,000 it received in a pre-seed phase in January this year.
The company focuses on building new payment systems to enable payments companies, banks and financial technology companies to operate the latest technologies in the global markets.
Through this investment, the company aims to launch its first softPOS product in 2021, a solution that helps traders collect payments from mobile customers directly through contactless payment, which is witnessing significant growth in Saudi and accounts for 79% of the payment to points of sale, according to the latest reports issued by Saudi Payments Company.