JEDDAH: Saudi technology startup Foodics has successfully raised $20 million in a Series B funding round, with Saudi sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF), among the major backers.
The round was led by PIF’s subsidiary Sanabil Investments and Saudi venture capital firm STV. Other investors included Endeavor Catalyst, Elm, and Derayah.
The new investment will enable Foodics to grow in existing markets, accelerate its international expansion, increase its workforce, and expand its financial technology (fintech) offering.
The latest funding round brings the total raised by the company so far to $28 million.
Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Riyadh, Foodics is available throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, with offices in the UAE and Egypt. Its software is available in English, Arabic, and French, with Spanish in development.
Foodics offers its kitchen display system (KDS), where orders from customers are sent directly to a display screen in the kitchen and staff can then prepare the order and send it out for delivery.
The platform processes around $200 million in transactions per month. It currently works with 24,000 restaurants in the region and has set a target to reach 70,000 by the end of the year.
Ahmad Al-Zaini, co-founder and CEO, said: “We are delighted to start the year on such a high note, having been able to gain the support and trust of such prominent investors. 2020 was a tough year during which we have proactively captured opportunities.”
Foodics markets itself as a supportive, trusted, and strong partner to its community. During the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the company launched instant loans through its micro-loans service Foodics Capital, so that customers could recover operation expenses and losses caused as a result of the global health crisis.
Foodics Capital offered loans of between SR18,750 ($4,998) and SR500,000 to small Saudi food and beverage operators, with approval within seven days.
Foodics was strategically positioned to become the de facto platform to connect digital players with offline retailers, said Ahmad Al-Naimi, partner at STV. The company was also one of only three firms to receive a fintech license from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) in November.
The news comes following a recent report by data research platform Magnitt which said Saudi Arabia accounted for 18 percent of the 496 investment deals made throughout the MENA region last year.
The Kingdom recorded a 35 percent year-on-year increase in the number of investment deals in the technology startup sector in 2020, along with a 55 percent year-on-year surge in the monetary value of deals which reached $152 million.
In an article in October, STV said it had led 30 percent of all venture capital funding in the Kingdom since 2018. It also claimed that, while it had $500 million in capital, its portfolio of companies, including Careem, Trukker, and Tabby had processed transactions worth more than $3.7 billion and had generated revenue of $480 million.