Launching from stealth mode, Retailo announced one of MENAP’s largest pre-seed rounds of $2.3 million to transform retail supply chains. The round was led by Shorooq Partners, MENAP’s leading seed-stage VC, and joined by 500 Startups & 92-Ventures. The startup is also backed by strategic angels from the region’s top startups and leading management consulting firms.
B2B E-commerce is a proven and exciting thesis with several successful unicorns globally. The space is currently in its hyper-growth phase and several players in it have raised significant capital from reputed investors globally. Retailo’s technology and operations combine to deliver a strong value proposition to retailers, manufacturers, distributors and wholesalers. It is focused on offering SMEs competitive pricing; a one-stop shop to discover products and the ability to order whatever they need, whenever they need. Its immediate target market is informal grocery retailers (Bakalas and Kiryanas) in KSA and Pakistan, currently valued at approximately $100 bn. Retailo will focus on KSA as its home market and has begun operations with full force in Riyadh after proving its concept and establishing a lead in the Pakistan market.
The Company is led by three Co-Founders, Talha Ansari, Mohammad Nowkhaiz, and Wahaj Ahmed. They each have an established track record of success in the startup ecosystem through their experiences at Careem, Rocket Internet, Daraz, Foodpanda and Shopistan. Talha was the youngest CEO at one of the Rocket Internet’s venture – foodpanda, at the age of 25. Then as Senior Director Operations in Careem he scaled up the company’s last mile delivery business in KSA. Nowkhaiz was Careem’s Head of Strategy for the MENAP region and spearheaded the Super App strategy post Uber acquisition. Wahaj is an Ex-McKinsey consultant who was also the youngest Careem GM at 25 and grew Careem’s Karachi business by 10x in just 8 months.
The co-founders’ vision is to create maximum societal impact. “We strongly believe in creating 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. MENAP is home to 700 million individuals & 10 million SMEs; and its unorganized retail sector presents the perfect opportunity to increase the efficiency of supply chain by utilizing technology and real-time data.” said the founders.
Retailo marks another key investment led by Shorooq Partners, focused on supporting early stage companies led by exceptional founders who are building long lasting solutions to transform MENAP region. “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 the Founding Partner Shane Shin. Keeping the economic impact in mind, Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Startups said, “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.”
Retailo’s mission is to enable the 10 million SMEs concentrated in MENAP region by empowering them with technology and real-time data to make complex supply chains “beautifully uncomplicated”. This represents around $ 500 bn of annual spending and thus a huge growth opportunity for Retailo.