E-grocery startup Raha launches after raising $6.7 million Seed
- Kuwait-based e-grocery platform Raha, has announced its launch after raising a $6.7 million Seed round led by a group of regional and international investors.
- Founded in 2020 by Saleh Al-Tunaib, Raha delivers groceries, fresh produce, and other household essentials. The startup operates out of automated micro-fulfilment centres and controls the full cycle of grocery delivery logistics from procurement to last-mile delivery.
Raha, the region’s newest e-grocery platform, has announced that it has officially launched in the Kuwait market, with its app now available on all Apple iPhones and Samsung Android devices.
An innovative homegrown concept, Raha is the Middle East’s first pure-play, fully automated e-grocery platform - offering a full range of groceries, fresh produce, and household essentials. It also features Kuwait’s first fully automated robotics-fulfilment centre, and one of the first centres of the kind globally with a chilled warehouse capability. Developed by global warehouse automation specialist, Swisslog, the centre serves as the core foundation of Raha’s technology-driven operational model and fully automated, data-driven intralogistics system – featuring the AutoStore solution; an innovative automated material handling solution that uses robots on top of an aluminium grid system to store and locate goods, efficiently delivering them to pick stations for processing.
Conceived as a digital operation first and foremost, Raha is making a huge investment in its technological infrastructure and completely self-serving operational model, including the robot-led fulfilment team and in-house preparation of all fresh items. Raha’s easy-to-navigate smart platform leverages users’ data and insights to provide a personalized customer journey unlike any other in the market, with made-to-order items, easy step-by-step customization, tailored recipes, and an impressively wide range of varieties across all product segments.
According to the Co-Founder and CEO of the company, Saleh Al-Tunaib, Raha’s investment in technology and innovation did not come as an added value extension of the business, but rather has been the driving notion at the heart of its conception and service model from the very beginning. “From the outset, the goal was to develop a pure-play digital retail operation that combined operational excellence with a simplified, intelligent user experience. Every step of the customer journey – from first log-in to final order delivery – has been carefully designed to deliver maximum convenience. We wanted to translate and elevate the traditional grocery experience at its absolute best to a seamless digital experience,” said Al-Tunaib.
Raha’s heavy investment in the infrastructure of both its software and product technology built a self-serving operational model that is now Kuwait’s first robotic fulfilment centre. Concurrently, Raha successfully launched a fully-automated chilled fulfilment centre - making it one of the first of its kind globally. This achievement introduces to the entire region the emerging trend of intralogistics, which is proving to shape the future of the eCommerce industry worldwide.
With a core commitment to hit quality and freshness benchmarks across every order, Raha employs a completely temperature-controlled and precise process. The full cycle of logistics - from procurement to last-mile delivery - is systematic and precisely controlled. Dedicated areas for the in-house preparation of meats, poultry, fish, and deli items offer consumers unparalleled freshness when coupled with Raha’s unique indoor dispatch area. Their trained fleet carries out the last-mile delivery that is route-optimized and time-efficient to complete the full cycle, seamlessly inserting Raha’s redefined grocery experience into the online commerce space that users are increasingly migrating to today. Additionally, Raha offers a nutritionally categorized assortment to fit all lifestyles and a unique feature in the form of Raha Recipes: a one-click add-to-cart recipes component, with recipes produced in-house using only items available in the app.
"Delivering this next level, seamless modern grocery delivery experience is credited also to Swisslog's adept implementation of AutoStore that propelled us past the traditional warehousing and fulfilment systems currently present in our landscape,” added Al-Tunaib.
On his part, David Dronfield, General Manager of Swisslog Middle East, noted: “The micro-fulfilment centre designed for Raha is the first automated micro-fulfilment centre (MFC) implemented in Kuwait, with a system designed in such a way that order capacity per day can be effectively doubled through the ease of expansion our solution provides.”
Customers are offered unparalleled flexibility and convenience by building a system that not only caters to both chilled and ambient products but that is designed to execute both express and scheduled delivery. Evidently, the pandemic present at the time of the envisage and conceptualization of the partnership played a role in the final desired outcomes and vision. Though Kuwait was under lockdown, a tremendous work ethic and solid collaboration between Swisslog and Raha made possible the timely and successful implementation of the system, overcoming the pandemic barriers through our joint efforts.
It serves to note that Raha was created and designed by a diverse team of driven young talents, who bring with them wide-ranging expertise and experience in the fields of grocery retail, e-commerce and tech development in the region. The company has completed its seed round of funding, with an impressive capital of USD 6.7 million raised by Saudi and Kuwaiti backers, as well as international VCs.