Zid, a start-up based in Saudi Arabia, has raised $50 million in an early-stage funding round that it said will back its expansion plans and help to digitise the retail sector.
The Series B funding round was led by Riyadh-based asset management firm Impact46, which was joined by new investors Aramco's venture capital arm Waed Ventures and Endeavour Catalyst, Zid said in a statement on Tuesday.
Previous investors in Zid Global Ventures — Elm Company, Arzan and MSA — also participated in the latest funding round.
“Zid and its team showed the ability in the past years to turn challenges to solutions that can enable retailers and partners to grow. We will be continuing on the same direction with the aim to modernise the retail sector in the region,” Mazen AlDarrab, Zid’s co-founder and chief growth officer, said.
Venture capital funding for start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa rose 20 per cent annually to more than $2.3 billion in the first three quarters of 2022, putting it on track to potentially surpass the total investments attracted last year, according to data platform Magnitt.
Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia retained the top three positions in terms of both funding value and number of deals, capturing more than 75 per cent of overall Mena investments, Magnitt said.
Zid will use the proceeds to expand into new markets in Saudi Arabia and in the region, develop new retail products and digitise and automate the retail sector, it said.
“Zid is building a community by enabling merchants to master online presence with a full-fledged e-commerce infrastructure equipped with sophisticated features,” Abdulaziz AlOmran, managing partner at Impact46, said.
The company has doubled its revenue from subscription and transactions and recorded a 50 per cent increase in orders made through Zid’s merchants by more than 7 million consumers, it said.
Zid, whose merchant network covers more than 7,500 stores across 19 product categories, helps retailers to sell and grow their own online channels.
“The company’s goal is to upgame the retailer sector by offering and enabling business owners and retailers with tools and products that will improve their operations efficiency and grow their bottom line,” it said.
The company rolled out products to help Zid retailers in shipping (ZidShip) and payments (ZidPay).
The start-up plans to expand the offering in these products to cover financing retailers and cross-border shipping, it said.