Retailo, a Saudi Arabia and Pakistan-based startup digitizing retail supply chains, has raised $36 million in its Series A funding. The round was a mix of equity and venture debt, taking the total capital raised by the company to date to $45 million in less than 1.5 years of operations.
The investment was led by Silicon Valley-based Graphene Ventures, which has stakes in tech giants Snapchat and Lyft. It also saw participation from 500 Global, Agility, Aujan, Tech Invest Com, and Mentor’s Fund.
The venture debt was raised from Nahda Fund — one of the Middle East’s first venture debt funds which is backed by Hong Kong-backed IMM Investment Global. Additionally, Shorooq Partners, Abercross Holdings, Arzan VC, and AgFunder also participated in the round as repeat investors.
Retailo’s gives small businesses access to a catalog of over 5,000 SKUs which are delivered to their doorstep in less than 24 hours. They can also avail Buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) services, which give them flexible payment options and credit lines. The company directly works with hundreds of leading local, regional, and global brands and recently began offering its sellers a cross-border distribution platform across the three biggest markets in the region: KSA, UAE, and Pakistan.
Headquartered in Riyadh, the startup was founded by former Careem executives Talha Ansari, Wahaj Ahmed, and Mohammad Nowkhaiz in July 2020. Since then, it has scaled to 10+ cities in three countries: KSA, UAE, and Pakistan.
Nabil A. Borhanu, a partner at Graphene Ventures, said, “We are impressed with what Retailo has achieved in an astonishingly short time. Their vision is both ambitious and inspiring and we believe that partnering with them is a sound business investment and also a chance to truly improve the lives of millions of people.”
The Series A funding will help Retailo move into the next phase of expansion into new geographies, verticals, and products. “As global supply chains come under stress pushing up commodity prices and depressing GDP growth, the value of smart supply chains becomes even more important,” said Retailo’s CEO, Talha Ansari. “The retail sector serves 700 million persons in MENAP, contributes almost 20% to the GDP, and employs tens of millions. By providing technology solutions to this underserved market, we are not only improving lives but also uplifting the economy of the entire MENAP region.”