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Business & Finance

Eyeing expansion in Pakistan & KSA, Retailo raises $2.3mn pre-seed

  • Retailo, a B2B retail supply chain startup, came out of stealth by raising $2.3 million in a pre-seed round led by the Shorooq Partners.
12 Oct, 2020

Retailo, a B2B e-commerce startup, announced its launch from stealth by raising $2.3 million in a pre-seed round led by Abu Dhabi-based Shorooq Partners.

Shorooq Partners is a leading seed-stage venture capital fund based in Abu Dhabi, which invests in entrepreneurs in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, at as early as the pre-seed stage. 92 Ventures, 500 Ventures and some of the region's top startups participated in this pre-seed round. With the investment, Retailo has become 92 Ventures’ first portfolio company.

Retailo, headquartered in Riyadh, was founded by Talha Ansari, Muhammad Nowkhaiz, and Wahaj Ahmed earlier this year. The founders of this new B2B e-commerce marketplace are well-acquainted with the startup business environment and have extensive experience of working at some of the leading startups and management consultancies including Careem, Daraz, Rocket Internet and Mckinsey.

Shane Shin, the Founding Partner of Shorooq Partners, believes that Retailo is led by the dream team of exceptional founders. He says that “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.”

Retailo is another key investment by Shorooq Partners, which has also recently invested in Pakistan’s Airlift Technologies, raising US$10 million in its series A round in July 2020.

Retailo aims to be a one-stop shop for informal grocery retailers in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. This e-commerce startup provides a mobile app for retailers, manufacturers, distributors, and wholesalers, offering them competitive prices and access to a list of suppliers.

This new venture hopes to empower 10 million SMEs in the retail sector of the Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan (MENAP) region with the use of technology and real time data. Retailo hopes to boost this US$100 billion grocery retail industry and enable retailers to procure inventories for their stores.

Retailo focus will be on small grocery stores in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. It has already launched operations in Karachi, Pakistan and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The aim is to establish its operation in Saudi Arabia first and then expand its presence in Pakistan.

According to Retailo’s three founders, the startup will positively impact the earning potential of local retailers. Moreover, they claim that the unorganised retail sector in the MENAP region presents a unique opportunity to innovate and increase economic prosperity for the 700 million population and 10 million small and medium scale business in the region.

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