Start-up wrap: Saudi Arabian delivery startup completes cross-border merger with Egyptian counterpart

Start-up wrap: Saudi Arabian delivery startup completes cross-border merger with Egyptian counterpart
NOMU is currently present in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco (Supplied)
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Updated 23 December 2022

Start-up wrap: Saudi Arabian delivery startup completes cross-border merger with Egyptian counterpart

Start-up wrap: Saudi Arabian delivery startup completes cross-border merger with Egyptian counterpart

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia-based grocery delivery startup Jumlaty has announced a cross-border merger with Egyptian counterpart Appetito to form a new company NOMU that will be headquartered in Riyadh.

Founded in 2020 by Salman Attieh, Jumlaty provides a grocery delivery platform for consumers and businesses. Appetito was founded in the same year and recently signed a partnership with Saudi-based IT company Purity Information Technology to expand into the Kingdom.

“Appetito and Jumlaty have been, separately but similarly, working hard to reinvent the grocery supply chain. Both have focused on reliability, speed, and affordability, building a solid reputation and a loyal customer base of families and F&B businesses,” CEO of Appetito, Sheham Mokhtar, said in a statement.

Mokhtar will be the CEO of NOMU as he stated that the merger is set to put the company on course to reach $25 million in revenue and achieve a positive earning income by 2023.

Aiming to become the leading foodtech platform in the Middle East and North Africa region, NOMU is currently present in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Tunisia, and Morocco.

“Together we capture the entire value chain, from monthly shopping to weekly refills and outdoor dining. Most importantly our journey now as one company will be accelerated thanks to an incredible team of international talents and supportive investors,” Attieh, now chairman of NOMU, said in a statement.

The new company will have a holding structure in Abu Dhabi’s International Financial Centre as it plans to expand into Pakistan and sub-Saharan countries in the near future.

Saudi Arabia’s Nama Ventures crafts Muqbis’ pre-seed round

Saudi Arabia-based venture capital firm Nama Ventures has invested in Egypt-based online handicrafts marketplace Muqbis for an undisclosed amount.

Launched in 2021 by Iman El Wasifi, Mohamed Nasser, and Kareem Hussein, Muqbis positions itself as the Etsy of the MENA region providing a platform for local artisans to sell their products online.

“We are super excited to be one of Nama’s Portfolio companies in our first round. Nama is an extraordinary VC that showed a strong belief in what we do and aim to deliver, even before we signed the final agreement for the investment, they bridged all possible ways to support our business growth through recommendations and business matchmaking,” El-Wasifi said in a statement.

Nama Ventures has been one of the most active venture capitals in the region supporting startups in their earliest stages with a focus on investing in pre-seed rounds.

We’ve always wanted to make a bet on ‘the Etsy of Mena’ for a while now, the opportunities are massive and our region enjoys a great deal of artists and talented craftsmen that need the right medium to monetise their craft. Yet we were always challenged in finding the right complementary team to go after the opportunity,” said Mohammed Alzubi, Founder of Nama Ventures.

The funding will support Muqbis in providing the right facilities for their artisans to reach more customers.

Uniting the food and beverage industry

Saudi Arabia’s venture builder Revival Lab signed an investment agreement worth $13.6 million with the Kingdom’s United Investments company to support startups in the food and beverage sector.

Founded in 2022, United Investments supports scalable brands to find market opportunities and seeks to acquire more than 30 F&B companies in Saudi Arabia.

“We seek to strengthen local brands in the food and beverage sector and help build their plans for growth and expansion inside and outside the Kingdom by improving expenditure efficiency and developing operational excellence plans,” Mohammed bin Abdulhadi Al-Qahtani, CEO of United, said in a statement.

Al-Qahtani co-founded Shawarma Hilayel and led its expansion to reach more than 26 branches in addition to 20 other brands with almost 100 branches in total.

“The agreement will provide unique opportunities to support male and female entrepreneurs as the industry shifts to cloud kitchens. It also seeks to develop startups in this field by building an integrated system that supports financial sustainability and good return on investment for investors,” CEO of Revival Lab, Mohammed Al-Maghlouth, stated.

The partnership will aim to encourage the growth of new ventures in the F&B sector in the Kingdom while promoting the shift towards cloud Kitchens.

Supplies simplified by Suplyd

Egypt-based restaurant logistics startup Suplyd secured $1.6 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Endure Capital, Seedstars, Camel Ventures, and Falak Startups.

Established in 2022, the company provides a platform to digitise the procurement supply chain process for hotels, restaurants, and cafes to buy stock directly from suppliers.

“Suplyd offers a smooth purchasing experience, clarity of product availability, guaranteed delivery dates as well as transparent pricing. Coupling that with its useful analytics, reporting, and digital records enables suppliers to handle their complex internal logistics and optimize their assets,” Ahmed El-Mahdy, COO of Suplyd, said in a statement.

The company will utilize its acquired funding to support its tech stack, grow its team, and scale its operations.


Saudi Arabia issues 46 mining licenses in January 

Saudi Arabia issues 46 mining licenses in January 
Updated 20 March 2023

Saudi Arabia issues 46 mining licenses in January 

Saudi Arabia issues 46 mining licenses in January 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources issued 46 new mining licenses in January 2023 – a 33 percent drop compared to the previous month.

The ministry reported that the permits included 31 reconnaissance licenses, 14 building materials quarry licenses, and extra mineral ores license, according to the Saudi Press Agency. 

It also reported that there are 2,230 mining licenses valid in the sector until the end of January 2023, with building materials quarry licenses accounting for 1,331.

This was followed by 647 reconnaissance licenses, and then 178 for mining and minor mine exploitation.

Some 42 were issued for observation, and 32 extra mineral ores licenses were granted. 

Riyadh region gained the most mining licenses in the sector, with 507 permits, followed by the Makkah region with 418 permits. The Eastern Province had 369 licenses, Madinah had 242 and 191 licenses for Asir. 

Saudi Arabia's Tabuk region had 139 licenses, Al-Qassim had 102 licenses, followed by 68 licenses in Hail, Jazan had 65 licenses, Najran was issued with 45, Al-Baha had 37 and the Northern Province area had 25, along with Al-Jouf’s 22 licenses. 

In accordance with the goals of the Kingdom's Vision 2030 and the National Industry Development and Logistics Program, the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources seeks to protect and increase the mining sector’s value. 

To make mining the third pillar of the national economy and seek to harness the Kingdom's mineral resources, which are spread across more than 5,300 sites and are valued at approximately SR5 trillion ($1.33 trillion).


Saudi Arabia’s factory sector sees 50% growth since Vision 2030’s launch: Deputy minister

Saudi Arabia’s factory sector sees 50% growth since Vision 2030’s launch: Deputy minister
Updated 20 March 2023

Saudi Arabia’s factory sector sees 50% growth since Vision 2030’s launch: Deputy minister

Saudi Arabia’s factory sector sees 50% growth since Vision 2030’s launch: Deputy minister

RIYADH: The number of factories in Saudi Arabia has increased 50 percent since the launch of Vision 2030 in 2016, according to the Deputy Minister of Industry and Mineral resources Osama bin Abdulaziz Al-Zamil.

His comments come after figures released last year showed there are now more than 10,000 industrial facilities in the Kingdom, with 1,023 factories starting operations in 2022 alone.

Speaking during the first day of the annual Saudi Industrial Renaissance Forum that took place in the Kingdom’s Al-Yamamah University, Al-Zamil affirmed reliance on the industrial and mining sectors as economic tributaries.

The deputy minister also use his speech at the event to praise the growing Saudi workforce, saying: “The bet today on our young men and women is a big and winning bet as they are the largest percentage in this country, which makes them the basic base for our transformation and change in all fields and their exceptional capabilities and permanent ambition for positive change constitute a great force for the success of the Kingdom’s vision programs and contribute to the development of the homeland.”

The Saudi Industrial Renaissance Forum focused on the vital role that the industry plays in developing and diversifying the national economy which also contributes to achieving the economic and social goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

“The forum brings together a group of speakers, experts and interested persons with specialization in lectures, discussion sessions, working papers sessions and refereed research papers on many topics, and witnesses a number of important sessions,” said Hussam bin Muhammad Ramadan, Al-Yamamah University president and chairman of the organizing committee. 


Paddy Padmanathan steps down as ACWA Power CEO after 18 years

Paddy Padmanathan steps down as ACWA Power CEO after 18 years
Updated 20 March 2023

Paddy Padmanathan steps down as ACWA Power CEO after 18 years

Paddy Padmanathan steps down as ACWA Power CEO after 18 years

RIYADH: ACWA Power’s CEO Suntharesan 'Paddy' Padmanathan resigned on Monday, reported the Saudi Stock Exchange.

The board accepted Padmanathan’s resignation, and welcomed Marco Arcelli, an energy leader with over 30 years of experience, as the new CEO, revealed ACWA Power.    

Arcelli was previously chairman at Europe’s seventh largest electricity producer Ep New Energy, and had worked at Enel for 16 years where he was CEO of Enel North America and Slovenske Elektrarne.   

ACWA Power assured that Padmanathan will remain in the company serving as a member of the board of directors.   

In a statement, the company thanked the resigning CEO for his 18 years of service, and “his dedication during that period to elevate the company’s status as a leading global company in the field of renewable power generation, water desalination and green hydrogen production which culminated by its successful listing as a public company.”  

ACWA Power is Saudi Arabia’s leading utility service provider with a net profit of SR1.5 billion ($411 million) in 2022, according to a bourse filing. The company reported 103 percent increase in its profits from the previous year.   

In 2021, the Public Investment Fund-backed firm reported a net profit of SR758.8 million.   

The bourse filing further noted that the company’s fourth quarter net profit after zakat and tax surged 94 percent to SR656.6 million, compared to SR338.85 million in the previous year. 

According to the bourse statement, the firm’s financial results in 2022 were backed by higher operating income before impairment and other expenses.   

The profits were also driven by higher contributions from development and construction management services for the projects which achieved financial close last year, adequately supported by lower project development costs.   


Closing bell: TASI rises 60 points 

Closing bell: TASI rises 60 points 
Updated 20 March 2023

Closing bell: TASI rises 60 points 

Closing bell: TASI rises 60 points 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Tadawul All Share Index increased 60.39 points on Monday – or 0.59 percent – to close at 10,218.12.

MSCI Tadawul 30 Index inched up 0.69 percent to 1,386.65, and the parallel market, Nomu, slightly edged down by 0.05 percent closing at 18,968.30.   

TASI’s total trading turnover of the benchmark index was SR4.56 billion ($1.21 billion) as 111 stocks of the listed 224 advanced and 95 receded.    

Themar Development Holding Co. was the top gainer of the day, closing the trading session up 9.91 percent at SR44.35 

The second-best performer was Alima Tokio Marine Co., increasing 9.70 percent to SR14.48.   

Elm was the third-best performer, rising 7.67 percent - or 31 points – to SR435, compared to its opening at SR404. 

Other top performers of the day were Dar Alarkan Real Estate Development Co., and Makkah Construction and Development Co. 

The biggest faller of the day was BinDawood Holding Co., which slipped by 2.96 percent to SR52.5.  

Nahdi Medical Co. is the next worst performer of the day, decreasing by 2.48 percent to SR181. 

The other poor performers were Gulf Insurance Group, Alinma Hospitality REIT Fund, and Jabal Omar Development Co. 

Non-institutional foreign investors, excluding Saudi Aramco, reduced their stake in Tadawul-listed stocks to 10.45 percent, or SR281.79 billion, which is represented by swap holders, residents, and qualified foreign investors. 

On an announcement front, Saudi National Bank's share price increased by 3.86 percent, closing at SR44.4. The bank also said in a statement that the changes in the valuation of SNB’s investment in Credit Suisse have no impact on SNB’s growth plans. 

Rawasi Albina Investment Co. announced its annual financial results for 2022, reporting a 19.54 percent increase in its net profit to SR20.8 million. Moreover, Rawasi’s share price climbed 11.98 percent, closing at SR80. 

Perfect Presentation for Commercial Services Co. also announced a tremendous increase in net profit by 63.06 percent to SR131.4 million. The company’s shares closed 3.55 up at SR175. 

CHUBB Arabia Cooperative Insurance Co. reported a 12.54 percent decrease in net profit to almost SR13.4 million compared to SR15.3 million in 2021. CHUBB’s share price decreased 0.24 percent to close at SR16.48. 

The company correlated the decline to an increase in General and Administrative Expenses an increase in Policy Acquisition Costs in higher drilling utilization and an increase in daily rate, notably in the offshore segment   

Dallah Healthcare Co. reported a net profit of SR274 billion, up 6.13 percent compared to 2021. Dallah attributed the increase to a revenue increase of 18.18 percent in 2022 to SR2.4 billion. The healthcare company’s share price slightly decreased by 0.56 percent, closing at SR141.6. 

Saudi Reinsurance Co. also announced its financial results for 2022 and reported a net loss of SR1.6 million, down 58.1 percent compared to almost SR4 million in 2021. However, its share price increased by 1.66 percent to SR14.7 per share. 


Aramco, DHL form new procurement and logistics hub JV

Aramco, DHL form new procurement and logistics hub JV
Updated 20 March 2023

Aramco, DHL form new procurement and logistics hub JV

Aramco, DHL form new procurement and logistics hub JV

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Oil Co., also known as Saudi Aramco, announced a new end-to-end procurement and logistics hub joint venture with logistics firm DHL Supply Chain. 

Expected to be operational in 2025, the JV aims to initially focus on the Saudi market, with plans to expand across the Middle East and North Africa region.  

The new venture aims to provide top-notch integrated procurement and logistics services to further enhance supply chain efficiency as well as sustainability in the region, the company said in a press release.   

The JV, which the company said is the first-of-its-kind hub, will provide reliable and sturdy end-to-end services to customers within the industrial, energy, chemical, and petrochemical sectors.  

“This partnership brings together two industry leaders, each with long and storied histories,” said Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser.  

By combining the exceptional energy, chemicals and industrial supply chain ecosystem of Aramco with the shipping and logistics expertise of DHL, he said they aim to enable the procurement and logistics hub joint venture to serve as a one-stop hub for customers’ supply chain needs.  

“We anticipate that it will not only advance the economic goals of our two companies but also accelerate growth across Saudi Arabia and the MENA region,” the CEO emphasized.   

DHL Supply Chain CEO Oscar de Bok added: “By working in partnership with Aramco, we aim to provide regional and multinational businesses from these sectors access to a robust international logistics network, fostering positive economic growth while promoting sustainable activities.”