DUBAI:

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

Souq.com has raised a fund­ing of more than Dh1 bil­lion, or $275 mil­lion that will sup­port the com­pany's fu­ture growth and help strengthen ecom­merce in the Middle East, it was an­nounced on Mon­day. Souq.com is the largest on­line retail and mar­ket­place plat­form in the Arab world, fea­tur­ing more than 1 mil­lion prod­ucts across 31 cat­e­gories such as con­sumer elec­tron­ics, fash­ion, health and beauty, house­hold goods, and baby. Of­ten tagged as the "Ama­zon of the Middle East", the ecom­merce site op­er­ates both as a retail site and as a mar­ket­place for third party sellers. To­day, Souq.com at­tracts over 45 mil­lion vis­its per month, with lo­calised op­er­a­tions in the KSA, UAE and Egypt. The e-com­merce mar­ket in the Middle East is grow­ing very fast and is ex­pected to reach $20 bil­lion this year. In­vestors in this round 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 served as fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sor to Souq.com on this lat­est round of fi­nanc­ing. In a re­cent re­port pub­lished by Dubai-based in­te­grated com­mu­ni­ca­tions agency IHC, Souq.com ranked num­ber five for brand aware­ness in the UAE. Suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion of this lat­est round of fi­nanc­ing is a tes­ta­ment to the sus­tained con­fi­dence in the brand and also makes Souq.com the most val­ued in­ter­net com­pany in the Middle East.

"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.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," Ron­aldo Mouchawar, CEO & Co­founder of Souq.com says.

"We don't share an­nual turnover fig­ure," Mouchawar told Khaleej Times dur­ing an in­ter­view. But mar­ket sources told this scribe that the ecom­merce site touched Dh500 mil­lion turnover mark in 2014 and Dh1 bil­lion in 2015. Mouchawar adds, "Fur­ther growth is inherent from be­ing in a mar­ket with the high­est mo­bile pen­e­tra­tion in the world and con­tin­ued adop­tion of mo­bile 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 mo­bile com­merce, Souq.com will con­tinue to lead the e-com­merce in­dus­try in the re­gion."

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.