Souq.com, the Middle East’s largest online retail and marketplace platform, announced on February 29, 2016 that it has completed a funding round of more than AED 1 billion (USD 275 million), the largest financing of an e-commerce business in the Middle East. The significant investment will support the company’s future growth, strengthen e-commerce in the region and empower more businesses to grow online through Souq.com’s platform.
According to the company’s press release published on its website, 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 LLC 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.
Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO and co-founder of Souq.com stated, “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 USD 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.”
“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. Capitalizing 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,” he added.