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KSA-Based B2B Retail Platform Retailo Raises $36 Million Series A

The investment will help propel Retailo into the next phase of its expansion across new regions, verticals and products.

As global supply chains begin to buckle under their own weight, jacking up commodity prices and subsequently depressing GDP growth, smart supply chains are coming in to save the day and they’re raking in the cash, revolutionizing the retail industry all over the world. The 10 million small businesses in the MENAP region stand to win the most from this transition as the majority of the retail market is highly fragmented, informal and undigitized—relying on faulty and inefficient supply chains and impossibly narrow margins. KSA-based B2B startup Retailo set off on a mission in 2020 to empower SMEs by providing them with a suite of technologies that streamline the supply chain process and investors are diving in.

The MENAP-servicing startup has now raised USD 36 million in its latest Series A funding round, securing a mix of Equity and Venture Debt. Equity accounted for more than 80 percent of the amount raised and was led by Silicon Valley-based Graphene Ventures with participation from by leading global investors with vested interest in the retail industry, including 500 Global, Agility, Aujan, Tech Invest Com, and Mentor’s Fund. The remaining 20 percent of venture debt was raised from IMM Investment Global-backed Nahda Fund as well as a number of existing investors. This funding will help propel Retailo into the next phase of its expansion across new regions, verticals and products. 

Launched in 2020 by former Careem executives Talha Ansari, Wahaj Ahmed, and Mohammad Nowkhaiz, the Riyadh-headquartered startup saw a real opportunity to distrupt traditional supply chains and offer small businesses a streamlined, fully-integrated digitized retail supply chain. Accessed through the Retailo mobile platform, an extensive catalog of more than 5000 SKUs at competitive rates are available for doorstep delivery in less than 24 hours. To further lessen the financial burden on small business owners, Retailo also provides flexible payment options including BNPL services. 

Retailo’s B2B commerce platform nets 50,000 retailers a month—a good start, says CEO Talha Ansari: “The retail sector serves 700 million persons in MENAP, contributes almost 20% to the GDP, and employs tens of millions. By providing technology solutions to this underserved market, we are not only improving lives but also uplifting the economy of the entire MENAP region.”

The secret to optimising the end-to-end logistics in the supply chain? A network of leading local, regional and global brands, efficient warehousing operations and smart fleet management solutions. Coupled with a multi-market strategy, this secret recipe for success seems to have worked; in just 18 months, Retailo managed to scale to more than ten cities in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Pakistan and expanded its offerings to include a cross-border distribution platform that’s bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars in annualized revenue.