Startup of the Week: UAE platform forays into Saudi Arabia, to ramp up staff strength

The company raised $3m in 2021 in its series A funding round. It is aiming to raise an additional $15m in its next round as well as expand even further. (Shutterstock)
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Updated 24 July 2022

Startup of the Week: UAE platform forays into Saudi Arabia, to ramp up staff strength

Startup of the Week: UAE platform forays into Saudi Arabia, to ramp up staff strength
  • Enhance Fitness has around 250 trainers and will be able to reach 700, says CEO

CAIRO: UAE-based fitness platform Enhance Fitness is aiming to triple its current trainer base as it announces its launch in Saudi Arabia.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Enhance Fitness CEO and founder Tarek Mounir said that the platform has around 250 trainers and will be able to reach 700 in the next 24 months.

“The biggest focus of our strategy is just going to be in the Kingdom at least for the next 24 months. So we’re literally just focused entirely on the Saudi business,” Mounir added.

The platform allows users to book a session with their preferred trainer, which could be in their residence area or at their community gym.

Mounir explained that the company hires trainers from gyms, hotels, or community areas by providing them with the right tools and software to manage their training sessions further.

“That’s why we consider that hotels and gyms are actually our clients, and not our competitors, because we come, and we take that part of the responsibility away from them,” he added.

Moreover, users can access a wide range of workout and fitness activities such as bodybuilding, mixed martial arts, yoga, and its client gyms and hotels without additional costs.

Mounir launched the platform in 2018 after experiencing a knee injury and was unable to connect with trainers due to a lack of qualification transparency.

Through its academy, Enhance Fitness provides trainers with professional training and qualifications so they are able to reach their audience better.

“We have a team of tutors who train the trainers. And these guys have developed an entire curriculum that’s been uploaded on our digital platform,”

“We have our internal platform for training, so the trainers can always continue to improve their knowledge, whether in the hard skills or the soft skills,” Mounir explained. He also added that the company would hire many Saudi national trainers as a part of its expansion strategy.

“Because we’re aiming to hire a big number of Saudi nationals, a big part of our mission is not necessarily to find personal trainers but fitness enthusiasts who we can train, accredit, and utilize for the business as well,” Mounir stated.

Changing the shape of fitness, COVID-19 has had a positive effect when it comes to Mounir’s business as he stated that health awareness became 10 times bigger during the pandemic.

“We started training everybody virtually, whether it’s Zoom or Google meet, the trainer would open their laptop or their screen or their phone or their tablet and start virtual training,” he added.

Mounir also said that the business exploded after COVID-19, seeing an annual growth rate of almost three times.

The company raised $3 million in 2021 in its series A funding round. It is aiming to raise an additional $15 million in its next round as well as expand even further into Gulf Cooperation Council countries, the UK and Singapore.


Albabtain Food sets offering price at $20 for Nomu listing

Albabtain Food sets offering price at $20 for Nomu listing
Updated 11 sec ago

Albabtain Food sets offering price at $20 for Nomu listing

Albabtain Food sets offering price at $20 for Nomu listing

RIYADH: Abdulaziz & Mansour Ibrahim Albabtain Co., known as Albabtain Food, has set its offering price for a direct listing on Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market Nomu at SR77 ($20.49) per share.

Yaqeen Capital, the financial adviser and lead manager for the transaction, confirmed the news in a bourse filing. 

Founded in 1998 by the AlBabtain family, AlBabtain Food has 11 branches spread across the Kingdom, allowing the company to provide its customers with a high level of services in the region.

The company manufactures a range of products including bread, pastries, and ice cream. 

 


Arabian Plastic Industrial to start trading on Nomu on Wednesday

Arabian Plastic Industrial to start trading on Nomu on Wednesday
Updated 2 min 52 sec ago

Arabian Plastic Industrial to start trading on Nomu on Wednesday

Arabian Plastic Industrial to start trading on Nomu on Wednesday

RIYADH: Jeddah-based Arabian Plastic Industrial Co. will start trading on Saudi Arabia’s parallel stock market Nomu on Oct. 5, a bourse filing showed.

APICO offered 1 million shares, or 20 percent of its valuation, via an initial public offering at SR27 ($7.19) per share. 

The offering coverage was 15.43 times the total shares offered during the subscription period. 

Established in 1996, APICO serves customers across different sectors, including but not limited to Almarai Co., flynas, TotalEnergies, and Nahdi Medical Co.


Kuwait’s Agility to invest $60m to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone 

Kuwait’s Agility to invest $60m to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone 
Updated 8 min 27 sec ago

Kuwait’s Agility to invest $60m to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone 

Kuwait’s Agility to invest $60m to modernize Suez Canal Economic Zone 

RIYADH: Kuwaiti supply chain firm Agility Public Warehousing Co. has committed $60 million to build a customs and logistics center in Egypt's Suez Canal Economic Zone.

Agility will work with SCZone on implementing its strategic vision in service, logistics, and support by setting up a technical and logistics arm that will automate customs processes and operations, according to a statement by the company.

The project is scheduled for implementation in the second half of 2023, and the statement added that the return on the investment “cannot be assessed at this time.”


PIF-backed Marafiq eyes 80% dividend by 2024 as it plans listing on TASI

PIF-backed Marafiq eyes 80% dividend by 2024 as it plans listing on TASI
Updated 42 min 35 sec ago

PIF-backed Marafiq eyes 80% dividend by 2024 as it plans listing on TASI

PIF-backed Marafiq eyes 80% dividend by 2024 as it plans listing on TASI

RIYADH: The Public Investment Fund-backed utility firm Saudi Power and Water Utility Co. for Jubail and Yanbu, known as Marafiq, expects dividends to reach 80 percent by 2024, as it plans listing on Tadawul soon. 

The utility company has witnessed stable financial results in the last three years. In 2021, its revenues amounted to about SR6.2 billion ($1.65 billion), while profits before taxes came to about SR2.2 billion, Marafiq CEO Mohammed Al-Zuabi told CNBC Arabia.

Last week, the Capital Market Authority approved the listing of the company’s 73.09 million shares on the Saudi Stock Exchange, which is equivalent to 29.24 percent of its total capital.

The company’s prospectus will be published before the start of the subscription period, according to the CMA.

The CMA’s approval will be valid for six months from the date on which the decision was made. 

This offering will enable Marfiq to diversify its investor base, and provide them an opportunity to be part of the company’s future growth, Al-Zuabi said.

Al-Zuabi expects the company to pay semi-annual dividends for shareholders following the offering.

For the current year, the company will pay dividends totaling SR550 million, and expects to pay the same amount for 2024.

A joint stock company established under a royal decree issued in October 2000, Marafiq is owned by four major shareholders, namely Saudi Aramco, the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, the Saudi Basic Industries Corp., and the Public Investment Fund, each holding 24.81 percent of the company. 

Private investors also hold a 0.76 percent interest in the firm.

With a capital share of SR2.5 billion, Marafiq began operations in January 2003.

This company is primarily concerned with providing electricity to the cities of Jubail and Yanbu, as well as providing electricity to oil and petrochemical facilities owned by companies such as Saudi Aramco and SABIC, as well as providing electricity to the national grid.


Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House to list 4 firms on Tadawul, ADX in 2 years

Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House to list 4 firms on Tadawul, ADX in 2 years
Updated 03 October 2022

Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House to list 4 firms on Tadawul, ADX in 2 years

Kuwait’s Gulf Investment House to list 4 firms on Tadawul, ADX in 2 years

RIYADH: Kuwait-listed Gulf Investment House, one of the leading investors in real estate properties, targets the listing of four firms on the Saudi Stock Exchange and Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange in the next two years, its chairman told CNBC Arabia.

The listing consists of companies with a capital of between 15 million Kuwaiti dinars ($48 million) and 50 million Kuwaiti dinars.

While global markets are facing challenging conditions, this will positively affect the region's markets, as it will be a destination for foreign companies, not just local companies, Abdulaziz Alsanad said.

The first and main benefit that GIH is trying to achieve by diversifying its listing in other markets is that the company will be able to create other opportunities for investors in the company, as well as its subsidiaries and associates.

This will in turn increase the investor's share value as well as the company’s value, the chairman stated.

GIH has received the approval of its shareholders for the listing of the firm's shares on the Tadawul as well as the ADX in May of this year.

As of Sep. 30, the company announced the successful dual listing of its shares on the ADX.

GIH has become the first Kuwaiti company to be listed on the ADX since the Kuwait Boursa was established.

Asserting the importance of the Kuwait group’s move, ADX noted that GIH will benefit from a broader investor base and increased liquidity because of the dual listing.

With GIH having subsidiaries and associates covering various economic activities, the Kuwaiti group has the ability to offer flexibility and openness to a wide range of economic sectors in Abu Dhabi and benefit from keeping pace with the effective transformation plan in the country’s economic foundation.

Founded in 1998, GIH has been listed on Kuwait’s bourse since May 2002 with a subscribed and paid-up capital of 40.6 million Kuwaiti dinars.

GIH has access to significant capital for private equity, real estate, and direct investments which constitute the core business activities of the company. GIH has investments in the Gulf Cooperation Council, the US, and other selected markets.

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