CAIRO: Cairo-based e-commerce services provider SIDEUP secured $1.2 million in a seed funding round to launch operations in Saudi Arabia.
Established in 2019, the company provides e-commerce businesses with various technological solutions to enable integrations, partnerships and payments to scale revenue.
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Waleed Rashed, CEO and founder at SIDEUP, said that the company is relocating its headquarters to Saudi Arabia with plans to hire and expand its team.
“We have already opened up roles in the Kingdom, by next month we will have added 10 people to our on-ground team in Riyadh which will amount to almost 30 percent of our total employee base,” he told Arab News.
Rashed added that the company will continue hiring in Saudi Arabia throughout 2023 as the new headquarters will be their biggest office.
“The e-commerce sector in Saudi Arabia is going to grow exponentially. The Kingdom is also going to be our gateway to the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council as we plan our entry into new markets,” he stated.
The company plans to support small businesses in the Kingdom by providing services like warehousing, payments, customer service and more.
SIDEUP has also partnered with e-commerce platforms Zid, Zammit, and Wuilt as well as payment service providers Paytab, Cowpay, and Paymob in addition to logistics companies Aramec, J&T and iMile.
Rashed explained that the company’s presence in Saudi Arabia will boost its growth exponentially, thanks to the Kingdom’s young population as well as the digital infrastructure in place.
“There’s no place more exciting to build a Middle East business than in Saudi Arabia. We have made great strides in setting up the right partnerships. The government has also created an environment for founders to thrive, being here has a number of benefits,” he added.
The founder stated that the Kingdom will be a stepping stone for the company to expand and explore other markets in the Middle East and Africa as it plans to enter two new countries within the next 12 months.
“We have the backing of renowned investors such as Launch Africa VC, 500 Global, Riyadh Angels, Alex Angels, Al Tuwaijri Fund and also Saudi angel investor Faisal AlAbdulsalam. This allows us to plan ahead while benefiting from the expertise of these investors,” he said.
The company has been seeing positive growth since its launch as it hit profitability with over $500,000 gross merchandise value per month and growing at 30 percent monthly.