Saudi Aramco’s venture capital arm leads $27m round for tech start-up Rewaa

Founded in 2018, Rewaa is an inventory management platform for the retail industry

Mohammed Alqasir, left, and Abdullah Aljadhai, founders of Saudi start-up Rewaa. Photo: Wa'ed Ventures
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Riyadh-based technology start-up Rewaa has raised 100 million Saudi riyals ($26.6 million) in a Series A funding round led by Saudi Aramco's venture capital arm Wa'ed Ventures.

Saudi Telecom Company’s Corporate Innovation Fund, launched in February to invest in early stage tech companies, also participated in the round. It marked CIF’s first venture investment in the kingdom since its launch.

Other investors that participated in the round included Silicon Valley’s Graphene Ventures, Sadu Capital, Vision Ventures, Khwarizmi Ventures, RZM Investment, Derayah VC, and Abdulrahman Sulaiman Al Rajhi and Sons Investment Company, Wa'ed said in a statement on Monday.

Founded in 2018, Rewaa is an inventory management platform for the retail industry.

The software as a service start-up provides retailers with a cloud-based integrated solution that synchronises online and physical store inventory. It also offers point-of-sale and accounting modules for a fully integrated platform.

Rewa has processed more 7 billion riyals in transaction value to date, and has served more than 7,000 retailers in the kingdom and abroad, creating more 250 local jobs, the statement said.

“This investment propels us towards our vision of becoming the optimal technological partner for small and medium-sized businesses in the retail sector,” said Mohammed Alqasir, co-founder and chief executive at Rewaa.

“By contributing to the industry's digital transformation through the creation of a globally competitive product, we aim to make a significant impact on retail merchants.”

Saudi Arabia is aggressively promoting and developing its technology ecosystem, which is a key pillar of its Vision 2030 economic programme to diversify its economy away from oil.

This month, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched a $200 million fund to invest in domestic and international high-tech companies as part of the economic diversification plan.

The fund is part of the new strategy of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology.

In February, Saudi Arabia announced more than $9 billion investments in its technology sector at the Leap conference.

Saudi entities also announced nine funds worth a combined $2.4 billion during the event to support the growth of start-ups in the Arab world's biggest economy, with a focus on technology.

Wa’ed Ventures is a $500 million institutional venture capital firm wholly owned by Saudi Aramco to promote economic diversification and new business growth in the kingdom by investing in high-growth tech start-ups across several sectors.

Established in 2013, it manages a portfolio of about 60 start-ups.

“Rewaa’s revolutionary approach to digitising and optimising operational processes based on efficiency and scale-up goals for SMEs perfectly addresses the needs of the typically-scattered retail industry,” said Fahad Alidi, managing director at Wa’ed Ventures.

Updated: August 28, 2023, 7:28 PM