Saudi startup Retailo raises $36mn in Series A to fuel expansion plans

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Retailo, the fastest-growing B2B startup in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan (MENAP) region has raised $36 million in its Series A investment round which was a mix of equity and ventures debt. 

The funding round is among the 10 largest over the past year in the three countries Retailo operates in, as per the reports. In the Series A round, it raised $29 million in equity and $7 million in debt. The funding will help Retailo move into the next phase of expansion into new geographies, verticals and products. 

The Riyadh-based startup has raised a total investment of $45 million in less than one and half years of operations, a landmark for any startup in the region. The Series A round has attracted leading investors with a proven track record of impactful investments. The round was led by Silicon Valley-based Graphene Ventures which was an investor of tech giants Snapchat and Lyft.

For Retailo’s Series A, Graphene is joined by leading investors that include 500 Global, Agility, Aujan, Tech Invest Com and Mentor’s Fund, all of which have the relevant exposure and investments in the retail industry’s technology companies.

The venture debt was raised from Nahda Fund, one of the Middle East’s first venture debt funds which are backed by IMM Investment Global, based in Hong Kong. Additionally, Shorooq Partners, Abercross Holdings, Arzan VC, AgFunder also participated in the round as repeat investors which demonstrates their continuing belief in Retailo’s successful future.

Talha Ansari
Talha Ansari
CEO – Retailo

“As global supply chains come under stress pushing up commodity prices and depressing GDP growth, the value of smart supply chains becomes even more important. The retail sector serves 700 million persons in MENAP, contributes almost 20 percent to the GDP and employs tens of millions. By providing technology solutions to this underserved market, we are not only improving lives but also uplifting the economy of the entire MENAP region.”

Retail in the MENAP region is a $500 billion industry that consists of over 10 million small businesses to serve a population of more than 700 million consumers. However, the majority of this retail industry is informal and undigitized. Small businesses have to rely on inefficient supply chains and limited financial resources while operating on impossible margins. 

Retailo aims to support these small business owners by building a suite of technologies around them. The company has begun this via their B2B community commerce platform which is used by over 50,000 retailers monthly.

Leveraging its wide regional presence, Retailo has recently started offering its sellers a cross-border distribution platform across the three biggest markets in the region, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Pakistan. The startup also provides data analytics services to sellers to help them evaluate sales performance and consumption trends.

Related: Saudi PIF-owned digital security firm Elm to raise $818mn in IPO