Nana lands $18m to fight for bigger share of Saudi grocery basket

Online marketplace set up four years ago completes funding round led by STV

4 march 2012 saudia arabia Riyadh king fahad rood Riyadh construction March 4,2012. Waseem Obaidi for The National
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An online grocery delivery business in Saudi Arabia has raised $18 million in a funding round led by Saudi Technology Ventures (STV).

Nana was founded by Sami Alhulwah in 2016 as a grocery shopping list app but is now a marketplace used by a range of partners including retail chains Panda and Carrefour with a presence in 14 cities.

“Nana has proved its ability to lead the online grocery space across the wider region. We have the utmost confidence in Sami Alhulwah and the Nana team’s ability to execute on their ambitious expansion plans, backed by an intuitive app, first-rate technology and world-class operations,” STV said in a blog on the company’s website.

Co-investors in the new funding round include Middle East Venture Partners, Wamda Capital, Watar Partners and SVC, as well as the company’s existing angel investors.

“On a more personal note, we are particularly proud to support Nana in light of the unfortunate Covid-19 outbreak,” STV said, adding that the company had tripled its capacity in just 10 days as Saudi Arabia has taken tough measures to stop the spread of the virus, including the closure of public and private sector offices and the introduction of a curfew from 3pm in 14 major cities.

The grocery retail market across the Mena region is forecast to grow at 9.5 per cent this year, according to data from Euromonitor, to a value of $426.5 billion.

The scope for the growth of online shopping is huge. According to Delta Partners, only 0.1 per cent of grocery sales take place online, compared to 1.8 per cent globally.

“This is one of the main reasons we are excited about Nana,” STV said.