Middle East-based online retailer Souq.com has completed a funding round of more than AED one billion ($275 million), the largest financing of an e-commerce business in the region.
This significant investment will support Souq.com’s future growth, while strengthening e-commerce in the region and empowering more businesses to grow online through Souq.com’s platform.
“The funding will be used to drive further growth by investing in technology, scaling our marketplace operations, launching new product categories and recruiting the best talent. The e-commerce market in the Middle East is growing very fast and is expected to reach $20 billion this year. As the largest e-commerce platform in the region, we focus on the value we bring through technology and job creation. We connect people to products through our retail and marketplace model. Through cutting edge technology, we enable our consumers to make smarter choices and access to mobile commerce is further empowering them,” says Souq.com co-founder and CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar.
The investors in this round of funding include New York-based Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd., both of which had invested in Souq.com in earlier funding rounds.
Souq.com also added new strategic investors to diversify its investor base, including Standard Chartered Private Equity, IFC (a member of the World Bank Group), Baillie Gifford and many reputable regional and tech-focused financial institutions. Allen & Company LLC was the financial advisor to Souq.com on this latest round of financing.
Adding further, Mouchawar states, “Further growth is inherent from being in a market with the highest mobile penetration in the world and continued adoption of mobile commerce (m-commerce) by our customers. Souq.com is constantly enhancing its customer experience, for both buyers and sellers. SMEs in particular are true growth drivers in our economy and our aim is to empower merchants to reap the benefits of e-commerce and further drive growth via mobile. Capitalising on the step-change in consumer behaviour and business benefit towards m-commerce, Souq.com will continue to lead the e-commerce industry in the region.”