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.

 

 


PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion
Updated 12 sec ago

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

PIF, Cain International invest $900m in Aman Group to boost its global expansion

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund and Cain International have invested $900 million in Aman Group to help accelerate the global expansion of the hospitality and lifestyle brand management company.

The investment will be used to enhance the existing portfolio, drive the construction of the pipeline of Aman and Janu destinations, as well as support the acquisition and development of additional sites, according to a statement issued on Monday. 

Following the new funding, the company is now valued at over $3billion.

Aman is a renowned collection of 34 hotels across 20 countries, 12 of which include Aman Branded Residences, with nine further hotels and residences projects under construction and a committed pipeline of additional destinations in countries including USA, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and European destinations, among others. 

Vlad Doronin, owner, chairman and CEO of Aman Group, said: “The investment from PIF and Cain International is a vote of confidence in my vision and the work the team has done over the last eight years, cementing the brand’s evolution and ability to deliver this vision at pace.”

Commenting on the investment, Turqi Al-Nowaiser, deputy governor and head of International Investments Division at PIF, said: “The investment is in line with PIF’s strategy to invest in promising sectors to achieve sustainable, attractive returns in Saudi Arabia and globally.”

“We are excited to be investing in this phenomenal brand and look forward to building upon our longstanding partnership with Vlad and his team,” said Jonathan Goldstein, CEO and co- founder of Cain International. 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 

Updated 15 August 2022

PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


PIF-owned Helicopter Co. to add Airbus ACH160 to its fleet 


RIYADH: The Helicopter Co., fully owned by the Public Investment Fund, has announced that Airbus ACH160 multi-purpose Helicopter will become part of its fleet in early 2023.

The new ACH160 is one of the world’s most technologically advanced helicopters with a new rotor blade design that results in significantly reduced noise, according to a statement posted on LinkedIn.

The company will obtain six new ACH160 helicopters, with the first being set to join the fleet early in 2023.

The new helicopter comes in line with the firm’s aims to deliver an improved environmental footprint and lower fuel consumption.


Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands
Updated 15 August 2022

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

Macro Snapshot — China unexpectedly cuts key rates as economic data disappoints; Japan’s economy expands

CAIRO: China’s central bank cut key lending rates in a surprise move on Monday to revive demand as data showed the economy slowing in July, with factory and retail activity squeezed by Beijing’s zero-COVID policy and a property crisis.

The grim set of figures indicate the world’s second largest economy is struggling to shake off the June quarter’s hit to growth from strict COVID-19 restrictions, prompting some economists to downgrade their projections.

Egypt’s unemployment rate  

Egypt’s unemployment rate in April to June remained unchanged from the previous quarter at 7.2 percent, the country’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization And Statistics announced on Monday.

Thai GDP grows 

Thailand’s economy expanded at the fastest pace in a year in the second quarter as eased COVID-19 restrictions boosted activity and tourism, reinforcing views that more rate hikes will be needed to curb inflationary pressures.

The Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is making a steady recovery after the lifting of pandemic curbs but still faces headwinds ranging from inflation at 14-year highs to China’s slowdown and weaker global demand. Read full story

The government slightly revised its 2022 economic growth forecast to 2.7 percent to 3.2 percent from an earlier 2.5 percent to 3.5 percent range. Last year’s 1.5 percent growth was among the slowest in Southeast Asia.

Japan’s economy expands

Japan’s economy expanded an annualized 2.2 percent in the April-June period to mark the third straight quarter of expansion on solid private consumption, government data showed on Monday.

The increase in gross domestic product was slower than a median market forecast for a 2.5 percent expansion. It translated into quarterly growth of 0.5 percent against market forecasts for a 0.6 percent rise.

Private consumption rose 1.1 percent in the April-June period from the previous quarter, compared with a median market forecast for a 1.3 percent increase, the data showed.

 

 


Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB
Updated 15 August 2022

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

Fitch upgrades Oman rating to BB

DUBAI: Global rating agency Fitch Ratings upgraded the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating on Oman to BB from BB-.

The outlook on Oman is stable, Fitch said on Monday.

The agency said the upgrade “reflects significant improvements in Oman’s fiscal metrics, a lessening of external financing pressures and ongoing efforts to reform public finances.”

A relatively small crude producer when compared to its wealthier Gulf neighbors, Oman is more sensitive to oil price swings, meaning it was hit especially hard by the pandemic-driven price crash in 2020.

But higher oil prices this year along with fiscal reforms, Fitch said, will support the sultanate to register its first budget surplus since 2013 and contain debt levels over the next few years.

“Higher oil revenue will underpin budget surpluses in 2022 and 2023,” Fitch said.


IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17
Updated 15 August 2022

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

IT consulting firm Saudi Networkers to list on Nomu on Aug. 17

RIYADH: Saudi Networkers Services Co., a Riyadh-based technical consulting services provider, will list its shares on the Kingdom’s parallel Nomu market on Aug. 17, according to a bourse filing.

The initial public offering price was earlier set at SR71 ($19) per share, yielding strong demand from qualified investors with the IPO being 223 percent oversubscribed.

Led by Aldukheil Financial Group, the offering of 1.5 million shares, or a 25 percent stake, was limited to qualified investors.

Ahead of its IPO, Saudi Networkers posted a 28 percent drop in profit, from SR39.1 million to SR28.3 million, for the year 2021, due to a rise in the cost of revenue.