Saudi Arabia-based e-commerce platform Retailo, has raised $2.3 million in a pre-seed round, led by Shorooq Partners, with participation from 500 Startups and 92-Ventures. The startup is also backed by strategic angels from the region’s top startups and leading management consulting firms.
Co-founded in September by Talha Ansari, Mohammad Nowkhaiz and Wahaj Ahmed, Retailo provides a one-stop-shop for SMEs and small retailers, enabling them to discover products and order them immediately. The B2B startup looks to empower the 10 million SMEs in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan (MENAP) region with real-time data and technology in order to make their retail supply chain more agile and flexible.
“We strongly believe in creating an impact in the lives of people by giving them opportunities to improve their earning potential. The MENAP region has a significant opportunity to increase its economic prosperity by unlocking the productivity delta that exists between the region and global benchmarks,” said the founders. "MENAP is home to 700 million individuals and 10 millions SMEs, and its unorganised retail sector presents the perfect opportunity to increase the efficiency of the supply chain by utilising technology and real-time data.”
The startup is operational in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The size of the retail market in these two markets is valued at $100 billion according to Retailo.
“Seed stage investing is all about backing the right people. We have looked at this space deeply and are proud to invest in the dream team behind Retailo who we believe can successfully build a strong, regional and international business,” said Shane Shine, founding partner at Shorooq.
“While they operate one of the fastest-scaling business models in the world, their success means millions of SMEs and rural populations are more productive and have more stability and food security. Technology can impact the next billion, and we’re already seeing it here with what Retailo had been doing,” said Khailee Ng, managing partner at 500 Startups.