The e-commerce market in the Middle East is growing very fast and is expected to reach $20 billion this year. One of the big players in the region is Souq.com, an online marketplace that has been described as the Amazon of the Middle East.
The Dubai-based online retailer has since it launched in 2005 attracted a lot of attention from foreign investors and now Souq announces that it has completed a funding round of more than AED 1 Billion ($275 million).
Investors in this round include New York-based Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers, 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 and Baillie Gifford.
The Largest Funding in the Middle East
Souq.com features more than one million products across 31 categories such as consumer electronics, fashion, health and beauty, household goods, and babycare. It attracts more than 45 million visits per month, with localised operations in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.
The online marketplace describes the latest funding as the largest financing of an e-commerce business in the Middle East and brings the total raised by Souq to $425 million.
The significant investment will be used to drive further growth by investing in technology, scaling the marketplace operations, launching new product categories and recruiting new talent.
– 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, says Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO & Co-founder of Souq.com.