Saudi start-up Nana raises $133m to fuel growth

Kingdom Holding and Uni-Ventures led the latest funding round, the company said

Start-ups in Saudi Arabia recorded a 72 per cent annual increase in venture capital funding to $987 million in 2022. Reuters
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Saudi Arabia-based grocery shopping and delivery platform Nana raised 500 million Saudi rials ($133 million) in a new funding round as the company aims to expand its services across the region.

Led by Kingdom Holding — the investment company controlled by Saudi Arabia's Prince Alwaleed bin Talal — and Uni-Ventures, the new funding round also saw the participation from Sultan Holding Company, Al-Jasser Holding Company, Red Diamond Company, Dallah Al-Baraka Group, Al-Jammaz Holding Company and a number of other investors.

Started in 2016, Nana intends to use the fresh capital to strengthen its position within the Middle East and North Africa region, support expansion plans and offer diversified services.

“This step motivates us to strengthen the position of the Nana platform to be the leading company in the region, as the success of this round is in the interest of our plans to expand and continue to provide more diversified services to serve all stakeholders,” Nana’s chief executive Sami El-Helweh said.

Global law firm Latham & Watkins advised Nana on its latest funding round.

“We are happy to close this round for Nana, as the round received a great turnout from strategic investors, and we are working on qualitative investment opportunities that support the system of entrepreneurship and bold investment in the Saudi and Gulf market,” Nayef Al-Jibreen, founder and chief executive of Uni-Ventures, said.

Uni-Ventures, a subsidiary of Orascom Investments Group, is a venture capital firm that invests in emerging companies capable of rapid growth.

Through this investment, Kingdom Holding aims to support Nana to establish “its leadership [position] in the digital shopping sector” in Saudi Arabia and the region, Talal Al-Maiman, chief executive of Kingdom Holding, said.

Assortment of Fruits and Vegetables Background

“We also affirm that we will continue our endeavours to diversify our investment portfolio, taking into account investments with rewarding investment returns,” Mr Al-Maiman said.

Nana said it has created a closed-shop model in Saudi Arabia, where orders are delivered to customers within 15 minutes. It aims to be the leading company in the region, with an estimated market size of more than $165 billion, the company said.

Start-ups in Saudi Arabia recorded a 72 per cent annual increase in venture capital funding to $987 million across 144 deals in 2022, a report has indicated.

The kingdom was the second-most funded geography after the UAE in the Middle East and North Africa last year. It also accounted for 31 per cent of total capital invested in the region, according to start-up data platform Magnitt’s Venture Capital Report compiled in collaboration with Saudi Venture Capital.

Updated: February 07, 2023, 6:16 PM