Souq, amazon of Middle East Hits Unicorn Valuation
Souq, an online marketplace, generally refered to as the Amazon of the Middle East — has announced that it has closed a funding round of over $275 million (AED 1 billion). According to Techcrunch, Souq’s post-money valuation is $1 billion.
The funding is the largest-ever round raised for any e-commerce company in the Middle East. Tiger Global and Naspers participated with follow up investment which saw new investors including Standard Chartered Private Equity, IFC, Baillie Gifford, and others.With this round of funding, Souq has raised $425 million in total funding till date. Souq plans touse the fund to scale up its business which is A to z soup-to-nuts marketplace that works with third party retailers, and sells goods directly to consumers.
Souq currently sells close to 1 million products across 31 categories such as consumer electronics, fashion, health and beauty, household goods, and baby. It also says it attracts over 45 million visits per month, with localised portals in United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.The company owns its own payment gateway called Payfort, and this has been a way to get merchants selling online not just on Souq but elsewhere, too, he notes. One future step, he says, will be to take Payfort into offline payments, potentially with point-of-sale services.