Saudi-based Taffi to launch its fashion AI-empowered platform

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Updated 28 March 2022

Saudi-based Taffi to launch its fashion AI-empowered platform

Saudi-based Taffi to launch its fashion AI-empowered platform

RIYADH: After one year of bootstrapping and product development, entrepreneur and co-founder of Taffi, Shahad Geoffrey, says that they’ve been operating on a testing basis and that the Saudi fashion platform will be launched soon.

Taffi is an artificial intelligence, or AI-empowered fashion marketplace that allows stylists to manage their clients online and acquire new ones.

“It’s been a year since we’ve entered the market. Since we launched, we’ve been seeing the demand for it, the market is actually ready for this kind of consumer product,” Geoffrey said in an exclusive interview with Arab News.

“Post Covid, everyone is shifting to shopping online, and this change made it easier for us to introduce new products and the adaptability rate is much higher,” Geoffrey added.




Shahad Geoffrey

She took the natural entrepreneurial journey to launching and operating her venture, it started when she found a gap in the market that she experienced herself. “I was looking for a styling or personal shopping service, and I didn’t find one,” she said.

It started back in 2020, when Geoffrey was working in the Bay area, in a venture capital firm, and was about to go on a trip to Hawaii with her family.

“I found at that time companies, like (online styling service) Stitch Fix and (clothing subscription service) Trunk Club, which are very successful companies. But they didn’t solve my problems, so I was very inspired,” Geoffrey added, “asking why don’t we have anything similar? Then I decided to build this product because I was looking for it. And I believe there are a lot of other consumers who are looking for this product.”

“When it comes to fashion, it’s my passion, I’ve been doing styling, but I never imagined myself finding a solution in the fashion industry,” she stated.

With just enough to start, Geoffrey bootstrapped her way to building the product, boosted after winning a US pitch competition prize of SR10,000 ($2,667).

Goeffrey added: “At a pitch competition in Beverly Hills, I just pitched my idea Taffi.”

The business model evolved after the pitch however. Geoffrey explained that it was the same concept, but she “iterated a lot” after launch.

After working on B2B services to raise cash, and bootstrapping for an entire year, Taffi managed to secure its first seed funding of $2 million.

“That was the first raise. And then we basically entered the KAUST accelerator program, which also offered us grant funding. And then B2B sales were another source of funding for us,” Geoffrey added.

Taffi has managed to secure over $80,000 in revenue, with over 80 stylists using the platform since the launch of its testing phase.

“So, we are basically just testing and building the product. We haven’t really launched in the market, I mean like officially launched, we did only like a soft launch,” Geoffrey told Arab News.

 

 


TASI starts flat as investors assess the lower oil prices and higher inflation: Opening bell

TASI starts flat as investors assess the lower oil prices and higher inflation: Opening bell
Updated 16 August 2022

TASI starts flat as investors assess the lower oil prices and higher inflation: Opening bell

TASI starts flat as investors assess the lower oil prices and higher inflation: Opening bell

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia's benchmark index started Tuesday’s trading session flat as more earnings reports came out; investors tried to assess the impact of rising inflation and weaker oil prices on the index.

As of 10:06 a.m. Saudi time, the Tadawul All Share Index and the parallel market Nomu opened at 12,542 and 22,111, respectively.

In the energy market, Brent crude fell to $94.20 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate declined to $88.82 a barrel, as of 10:12 a.m. Saudi time.

The country's biggest lender Saudi National Bank increased 0.28 percent, while the Kingdom’s largest valued bank Al Rajhi added 0.11 percent.

Saudi Aramco lost 0.87 percent, despite achieving its highest quarterly profit since going public in 2019 with SR182 billion ($48.4 billion), a 90 percent jump over analysts' expectations.

Dallah Healthcare Co. edged up 0.17 percent, after posting a 52 percent gain in profit during the first half of 2022, reaching SR152 million.

KEIR International rose 1.92 percent, after it partnered with US-based Quadratics Development to deploy its eco-friendly building system and technology in Saudi Arabia

Qassim Cement Co. dropped 2.08 percent, after reporting a 73 percent decline in first-half profits to SR54 million.

Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Co. shed 2.76 percent after its profits dropped 93 percent to SR2 million in the first half.

Abo Moati for Bookstores Co rose 1.63 percent, following a 125 percent profit surge to SR4.3 million for the second quarter of 2022.

Saudi Industrial Development Co. edged down 1.60 percent, after its losses widened by 88 percent to SR11 million during the first half.

Al Kathiri Holding Co. declined 1.35 percent, after it turned into losses of SR5.5 million in the first half of 2022.


Commodities Update — Gold ekes out gains; Corn, soybean down; Copper up; Five more grain ships leave Ukrainian port; 

Commodities Update — Gold ekes out gains; Corn, soybean down; Copper up; Five more grain ships leave Ukrainian port; 
Updated 16 August 2022

Commodities Update — Gold ekes out gains; Corn, soybean down; Copper up; Five more grain ships leave Ukrainian port; 

Commodities Update — Gold ekes out gains; Corn, soybean down; Copper up; Five more grain ships leave Ukrainian port; 

RIYADH: Gold prices edged higher on Tuesday, supported by a dip in US bond yields, although a stronger dollar and concerns over further rate hikes by the Federal Reserve kept gains in check.

Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,781.40 per ounce, as of 0241 GMT.

US gold futures eased 0.1 percent to $1,796.70.

Silver slips

Spot silver slipped 0.3 percent to $20.20 per ounce, while platinum fell 0.1 percent to $932.01. 

Palladium was up 0.1 percent at $2,148.76.

Corn down, wheat up

Chicago soybean and corn futures lost more ground on Tuesday, with expectations of crop-friendly US weather conditions and declining demand in top importer China weighing on the market.

Wheat ticked higher after two sessions of losses.

The most-active soybean contract on the Chicago Board of Trade lost 0.7 percent to $14.02-1/4 a bushel, as of 0309 GMT.

Corn gave up 0.3 percent to $6.26-1/4 a bushel, while wheat added 0.8 percent to $8.07-1/2 a bushel.

Copper rises

Copper rose on Tuesday, tracking upbeat sentiment in the US markets on prospects that the Federal Reserve can achieve a soft landing for the economy, but gains were limited as weak China data clouded the demand outlook in the biggest consumer.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.8 percent at $8,040 a ton, as of 0307 GMT, having dropped 2.8 percent in the previous session, the steepest daily decline in a month.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 0.6 percent to $9,180.38 a ton.

Turkey says five more grain ships leave Ukrainian ports

Five more ships have left Ukrainian ports carrying corn and wheat, three from Chornomorsk and two from Pivdennyi, under an UN-brokered grain export deal, Turkey’s defense ministry said on Tuesday.

It added that four more ships bound for Ukraine were to be inspected on Tuesday by the joint co-ordination center, set up by Russia, Turkey, Ukraine and the UN in Istanbul.

One of the ships leaving on Tuesday was the Brave Commander, carrying the first cargo of humanitarian food aid bound for Africa from Ukraine since Russia’s invasion, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

(With input from Reuters)


Saudi PIF buys shares in Alphabet, Zoom and Microsoft in US shopping spree

Saudi PIF buys shares in Alphabet, Zoom and Microsoft in US shopping spree
Updated 24 min 49 sec ago

Saudi PIF buys shares in Alphabet, Zoom and Microsoft in US shopping spree

Saudi PIF buys shares in Alphabet, Zoom and Microsoft in US shopping spree

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund bought shares in Alphabet, Zoom Video and Microsoft as part of a wider pick of US stocks, bringing the sovereign wealth fund’s second-quarter investments to about $40.8 billion.

The PIF acquired 213,000 class A shares in Alphabet, 4.7 million class A shares in Zoom and 1.8 million shares in Microsoft, a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed.

It also acquired shares in JPMorgan and BlackRock, buying 3.9 million shares and 741,693 shares respectively.

The fund bought 6.3 million shares in Starbucks, and added other stocks including Adobe Systems, Advanced Micro Devices, Salesforce, Home Depot, Costco, Freeport-McMoRan, Datadog and NextEra Energy.

The PIF, which manages $620 billion in assets, is at the center of Saudi Arabia’s plans to transform the economy by creating new sectors and diversifying revenues away from oil.

The PIF is pursuing a two-pronged strategy, building an international portfolio of investments while also investing locally in projects that will help to reduce Saudi Arabia’s reliance on oil.

Apart from these firms, Saudi Arabia’s PIF is also the majority stakeholder in Lucid Motors, headquartered in California. Currently, PIF owns more than 60 percent share in the electric vehicle manufacturer.

In the first quarter of this year, PIF reduced its ownership of US equities by 22 percent to $43.6 billion, against the $55.9 billion it held a quarter earlier.

A filing by the US Securities and Exchange Commission by the end of the first quarter suggested that PIF cut its stake in three companies which includes Visa Inc., Plug Power, and Walmart.

PIF, however, increased its holdings in Take-Two Interactive, PayPal, Alibaba, and Farfetch Ltd.

Data released by the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute, in April, had revealed that PIF is currently in the fifth spot among the largest sovereign funds in the world with assets valued at $620 billion. 

(With inputs from Reuters)

 


Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday
Updated 16 August 2022

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

Here’s what you need to know before Tadawul trading on Tuesday

RIYADH: Saudi stocks reversed losses to close Monday’s session higher, as investor sentiment was boosted by positive earnings from listed companies.

TASI, the main index, edged up 0.23 percent to 12,543, while the parallel market, Nomu, gained 0.3 percent to 22,110.

The Saudi index outperformed peers in the Gulf, with most markets finishing lower on Tuesday.

Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, and Bahrain all recorded losses between 0.1 and 0.7 percent, while Dubai and Oman added 0.1 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Egyptian blue-chip index dropped 0.7 percent.

Oil prices continued to drop on Tuesday, with brent crude losing 1 percent to $94.06 a barrel and US West Texas Intermediate down to $88.63 a barrel by 9:08 a.m. Saudi time.

Stock news

Dallah Healthcare has posted solid profit growth of 52 percent to SR152 million ($40 million) for the first half of 2022, supported by an increase in patient occupancy rates

Al-Etihad Cooperative Insurance Co. saw its profits drop 93 percent to SR2 million in the first half of 2022

Qassim Cement Co. reported a 73 percent decline in first-half profits to SR54 million

Saudi Industrial Development Co.’s losses widened by 88 percent to SR11 million during the first half of 2022

Abo Moati for Bookstores Co. reported a 125 percent surge in quarterly profit to SR4.3 million

Al Kathiri Holding Co. turned into losses of SR5.5 million in the first half of 2022

Arabian Food and Dairy Factories Co. signed a contract with Nana Co. to expand the former’s distribution network and facilitate product delivery to customers

Aljouf Mineral Water Bottling Co.’s half-year profit rose 8 percent to SR2.8 million

Walaa Cooperative Insurance Co. published the shareholders’ circular, the offer document, and the timeline for its merger with SABB Takaful Co.

KEIR International partnered with US-based Quadratics Development to deploy its eco-friendly building system and technology in Saudi Arabia

Calendar

August 17, 2022

Saudi Networkers Services Co. will start trading its shares on Nomu


KEIR to bring US-based Quadratics’ eco-friendly building system to Saudi Arabia

KEIR to bring US-based Quadratics’ eco-friendly building system to Saudi Arabia
Updated 16 August 2022

KEIR to bring US-based Quadratics’ eco-friendly building system to Saudi Arabia

KEIR to bring US-based Quadratics’ eco-friendly building system to Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Telecom services provider KEIR International has partnered with US-based Quadratics Development to bring its eco-friendly construction and building technology to the Saudi market.

Quadratics’ efficient and sustainable building system, using light gauge steel and lightweight concrete, aligns with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, KEIR said in a filing to the Saudi Exchange.

“It is a system widely accepted by real estate developers and government entities in Saudi Arabia after having been developed to provide cost-effective and high-specifications building and construction solutions,” it added.

With this partnership, Riyadh-based KEIR aims to strengthen its presence in the telecom, power, and renewable industries as a leading infrastructure company.