Wa'ed, the entrepreneurship arm of state oil company Saudi Aramco, said it invested 1.9 million Saudi riyals ($507,000) in digital B2B e-procurement and facility management platform Qreeb that aims to streamline supply chain processes.
The start-up seeks to enable connections between service providers and clients through a unified traceable communication platform.
Aramco's investment in Qreeb, based in Dammam. will enable the start-up to improve its software and management offerring, double the volume of vendor transactions made through its website and expand its operations across the kingdom.
"Empowering start-ups such as Qreeb to digitise sectors that are heavily dependent on offline operations like procurement has the potential to revolutionise the internal processes of all parties involved within each single transaction, allowing them to take previously-calculated data-driven decisions in a simplified process," Fahad Alidi, managing director of Wa’ed, said on Thursday.
The Covid-19 pandemic accelerated the digitalisation of supply chains after movement restrictions to stem the spread of the virus disrupted trade flows last year. As trade rebounds amid a resumption in economic activity, demand to digitalise supply chain has also grown.
Qreeb is aiming to develop a more accurate and collaborative facility management and procurement sector, enabling its clients to identify the exact causes behind performance shortages, said Abdulrahman AlOmair, co-founder and chief executive of the start-up.
"We look at Wa’ed as a strong strategic investor that can help us to expand our presence and client base and modernise the deeply traditional facility management and procurement sector within the kingdom.”
Qreeb was able to enrol clients with a high-potential transaction value to its digital platform amid last year's pandemic restrictions, the company said.
The start-up became the official digitalisation arm for conglomerate Al Tamimi Holding Group, one of Qreeb's prominent backers, whose 28-plus subsidiaries across Saudi Arabia are in the process of using Qreeb’s platform to streamline its over 1,800 vendors.
By integrating its platform to the finance departments of its client companies, Qreeb is able to instantly notify vendors of any purchase orders once the departments send their approvals, as well as open the opportunity for clients to make direct purchases online.
Having an accessible database and integrable solution, the start-up is also able to calculate price quotas and order quantities as accurately as possible and allow clients to request and accept videos uploaded by warehouse technicians to ensure their order requests are processed efficiently.
Qreeb was founded by Abdulaziz Al Abdulkader, Hassan Ikram and Mr AlOmair in 2018 to address the lack of systemised workflow infrastructures that would allow a company’s management to trace and track their procurement orders with vendors.