Sequoia and Prosus back Saudi food startup raising $170m

Sequoia Capital India and Prosus NV have backed a $170m funding round for Saudi food and beverage tech startup Foodics, as global investors increasingly seek to back fast-growing companies in the Middle East .

Riyadh-based Foodics will use the proceeds to strengthen its services and expand into new countries, chief executive Ahmad Al Zaini said in an interview. The company is also considering potentially acquiring rivals to help it grow and will expand into fintech after receiving a license from Saudi Arabia’s central bank, he said.

Sanabil, 100% owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund and focused on investing in start-ups, co-led the fundraising with Prosus. STV, a $500 million Saudi venture capital fund, also participated in the deal.

The funds will also help Foodics explore “merger and acquisition opportunities in the region,” Al Zaini said, declining to comment on the company’s valuation.

Sequoia made its first investment in Saudi Arabia in January, leading a funding round for Lean Technologies. It has strengthened its presence in the Middle East after recently supporting businesses from Turkey to Egypt. The venture capital firm is among global investors keen to profit from the spread of financial technology and e-commerce in the region as local economies emerge from the pandemic.

Foodics, which offers restaurant management software, digital payments and micro-loans, last raised $20 million from investors in early 2021. The company likely has enough funds for the maintain for the next two to three years and would consider an initial public offering. after that time, Al Zaini said.

© 2022 Bloomberg

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