Egypt-based technology start-up Sideup has raised $1.2 million in funding that will help the company expand its operations into Saudi Arabia.
Various global and regional investors took part in this new funding round, including Launch Africa VC, 500 Global, Riyadh Angels, Alex Angels, Al Tuwaijri Fund and Saudi angel investor Faisal Al Abdulsalam, the company said last Monday.
Launched in 2019, Sideup’s platform offers solutions such as online payment gateways, business advisory, and integration applications for sectors including shipping, logistics, warehousing and fulfilment. It aims to help e-commerce businesses achieve scale and grow revenue, through the use of technology, the company said.
“Our platform connects merchants with a range of services from industry leaders, allowing them to focus on growing revenue while we take care of the rest,” said Waleed Rashed, founder and chief executive of Sideup.
“We are excited to enter a new phase of growth as we plan to take Sideup to new markets including the launch of our Saudi Arabia office. With the backing of our investors, we are well-positioned to transform the e-commerce industry across the Middle East and Africa,” Mr Rashed said.
Sideup, which was previously known as Voo, said it would use the new capital to double down on its presence in Egypt, launch operations in Saudi Arabia and further develop a new range of solutions for customers over the next 12 months.
As part of its plans to boost its presence in Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's largest economy, Sideup will relocate its headquarters to Riyadh and increase its headcount in the country, the company said.
"E-commerce remains fragmented across most of the region, creating a number of challenges for business owners,” Khalid Al Tawil, co-founder of Riyadh Angels, said.
“Sideup's platform is a giant leap forward, giving them a single place to access partners and technology to grow their businesses exponentially.”
Currently, Sideup serves more than 2,000 e-commerce businesses. A cashflow-positive business, it has achieved more than $500,000 in gross merchandise volume per month, expanding at 30 per cent monthly.
Its platform also allows merchants to access new markets by operating across 45 countries. It has partnered with industry leaders including e-commerce platforms Zid, Zammit and Wuilt; payments services Paytab, Cowpay and Paymob and logistics providers Aramex, J&T and iMile.
Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, is banking on technology and its start-up ecosystem to diversify its economy.
Venture capital funding in Egypt more than doubled to $307 million in the first half of 2022 from a year earlier, ranking it third in the Middle East and North Africa region, according to start-up data platform Magnitt. The number of deals in the country grew by 22 per cent annually to 78 during the first six months of the year.