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Saudi ecommerce enablement platform Salla raises $130 million in pre-IPO round

Salla, a Makkah-based platform facilitating e-commerce, has successfully secured $130 million in a pre-IPO funding round. The leading investors in this round were Investcorp, a global investment firm based in Bahrain, and Sanabil Investments, a subsidiary of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, with existing investor STV also participating.

Established in 2016 by Nawaf Hariri and Salman Butt, Salla operates as a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startup, empowering users to create and manage their online stores. Often dubbed as the “Shopify for the Middle East & North Africa,” Salla provides services including online payment solutions and an app store boasting over 400 applications for its merchants.

Pioneering as one of the first e-commerce platforms in the region, Salla boasts of serving more than 80,000 active merchants, facilitating over $7 billion in Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV) since 2020.

The company operates on a freemium model, offering a basic version of its platform for free while premium packages range from $26 to $80.

Expressing gratitude for the investment, Nawaf Hariri, CEO of Salla, emphasized the confidence Investcorp and Sanabil have shown in their vision and platform. He highlighted their commitment to simplifying and enhancing the e-commerce experience for their merchants.

Walid Majdalani, Head of Emerging Markets Private Equity at Investcorp, underscored the potential for entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, particularly within the e-commerce sector. He emphasized Salla’s role as a key enabler for new companies in this ecosystem and expressed excitement about potential future listings in line with their growth trajectory.

Previously, Salla raised undisclosed seed funding from Saudi’s Vision Ventures and Raed Ventures in 2018, followed by a $8.5 million Series A led by STV in late 2020.

The investment will be utilized to fuel Salla’s growth as it gears up for a potential public market debut. Among its local competitors, Zid, which secured $50 million in a Series B round in October 2022, stands as a significant player.

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