A bold investment

Investcorp invests $130 million in a pre-IPO financing round in SALA

Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment firm, has announced its leadership in a $130 million pre-IPO funding round for Salla, a top Software as a Service (SaaS) platform for e-commerce in Saudi Arabia.

This investment round also saw the participation of Sanabil Investment, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund, along with STV, a regional venture capital investor and an existing stakeholder in Salla.

Established in 2016 in Mecca, Salla has been instrumental in fostering Saudi Arabia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by providing Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and budding entrepreneurs with a proprietary SaaS solution to fulfill their e-commerce aspirations.

Today, Salla serves as a gateway for merchants to access a $20 billion e-commerce market, projected to witness an annual growth rate of over 25% in the coming years.

Since 2020, Salla has facilitated e-commerce transactions totaling $7 billion and currently boasts over 80,000 active merchants on its platform.

Founded by Nawaf Hariri and Salman Butt, Salla now boasts a team of over 160 developers dedicated to technology and product advancement.

It offers merchants a fully digitalized and automated solution, empowering them to create their e-commerce websites, commence online sales within hours, accept online payments, and manage product deliveries to end-users.

With seamless integration with online payment solutions and logistics providers, Salla offers over 400 applications on its platform, supporting merchants throughout the entire lifecycle of their online businesses.

Investcorp’s investment was executed through the Investcorp Saudi Pre-IPO Growth Fund LP, targeting equity growth capital investments across various companies primarily based in Saudi Arabia with potential access to capital markets.

Additionally, Robin Mansour, Principal at Investcorp, will join Salla’s Board of Directors.

This fund enables investors to tap into growing and leading businesses across strategic high-growth sectors such as business services, transportation, logistics, healthcare, and consumer goods.

Walid Majdalani, Head of Emerging Markets Private Equity at Investcorp, commented, “With over a million SMEs in Saudi Arabia today, having tripled in the past five years, we believe that the Kingdom’s transformation agenda will continue to foster innovation and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, with Salla playing a pivotal role in supporting the development of new ventures within the e-commerce ecosystem.”

He further stated, “We see significant interest in the potential of Saudi companies to go public, especially as scale-ups and unicorns demonstrate success locally and regionally. Salla has experienced exponential growth and delivered exceptional financial performance.

We are excited to be part of their next phase of growth and eager to collaborate with the founder and management team to explore potential future IPO opportunities in line with our track record.”

Nawaf Hariri, CEO and Co-Founder of Salla, added, “We are deeply grateful for the trust and investment from Investcorp and Sanabil in Salla, which reflects their confidence in our vision and our platform’s potential.

This investment propels us forward in our ongoing mission to open opportunities and empower individuals, SMEs, and enterprises to start and expand their businesses both within and beyond Saudi Arabia.

We are committed to delivering innovative, customer-centric solutions that simplify and enhance the e-commerce experience for our merchants.”

Previously, through the Investcorp Saudi Pre-IPO Growth Fund LP, Investcorp led a pre-IPO funding round for TruKKer, a leading digital freight network in the MENA region, and NourNet, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading ICT companies, with over 1,200 B2B clients operating across 20 industries.

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