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.


LEAP investment workshop uses Lego to encourage entrepreneurial culture change

LEAP investment workshop uses Lego to encourage entrepreneurial culture change
Updated 59 min 11 sec ago

LEAP investment workshop uses Lego to encourage entrepreneurial culture change

LEAP investment workshop uses Lego to encourage entrepreneurial culture change
  • David Gram-Hanssen of Diplomatic Rebels underscored importance of innovation and change while anticipating resistance
  • Workshop used Lego building blocks to demonstrate how a more experimental and entrepreneurial culture can be adopted

RIYADH: Interactive investment workshops were featured on the second day of LEAP’s second edition, with the spotlight falling on David Gram-Hanssen, co-founder of Diplomatic Rebels.

His workshop utilized Lego building blocks to help participants focus on the changes they can create in the future as they become diplomatic rebels in their respective industries.

He said: “Future success depends on the ability to explore and experiment. We all need to become even better at adapting to change.

“There’s a perfect storm of change happening right now geopolitically, environmentally, business-wise. Everything seems to be sort of moving, and over time that speed is only going to pick up.”

Diplomatic Rebels was a concept created out of the work of Lego’s radical innovation department, Future Lab.

It turned into a system and a way of thought that helped people navigate the bureaucracy of companies, sparking change in their offices and communities.

Gram-Hanssen, who previously worked at Lego Ventures, said companies needed to adopt this entrepreneurial culture.

He added: “At Lego we started saying as a mantra, radical is normal. It means that radical change and radical innovation is the new normal.

“We constantly have to move along and experiment and explore what is happening out there.”

He discussed what it means to be a diplomatic rebel, sparking innovation and positive change while anticipating resistance.

He said: “One of the things at Lego that we understood over time was when you’re working with radical innovation and trying to change things, it’s really hard work.

“One aspect to be mindful of is creating the necessary resilience in the teams you are working with.”

He explained that most entrepreneurs feel like they are constantly fighting the immune system of that existing environment.

He added: “They are trying to do something that doesn’t compute in the existing system.”

Gram-Hanssen gave his audience the task of building a Lego model to represent their work today and their vision for the future.

He also explained the concept of a “pretotype,” a predecessor of a prototype, which aims to gather data to aid faster testing, encouraging participants at the session to implement the concept in their daily lives.

He said: “The right question is not so much what is going to change and when, because it’s hard to foresee.

“Maybe the right question to ask is how do we take a lead on this change? What is it? What do we want to see in the world, and how do we put ourselves in front of this change?”

 


Nuclear energy offers ‘a golden opportunity’ to build a clean world

Nuclear energy offers ‘a golden opportunity’ to build a clean world
Updated 07 February 2023

Nuclear energy offers ‘a golden opportunity’ to build a clean world

Nuclear energy offers ‘a golden opportunity’ to build a clean world

RIYADH: Being a cost-effective and low-carbon solution, nuclear energy “offers a golden opportunity” to help build a clean world, according to the director general of the World Nuclear Association.

Sama Bilbao y Leon was speaking as a keynote speaker at the 44th IAEE International Conference in Riyadh on Tuesday. The top official said nuclear energy offers an opportunity to build a cleaner and more equitable world in which everyone has access to “clean, abundant and affordable round-the-clock energy and high quality of life.”

“As a low-carbon energy source, nuclear power can play a very important role, decarbonizing other difficult-to-able sectors,” she said.

The official said nuclear energy is certainly a cost-effective, low-carbon solution and a catalyst for economic development. It is more efficient than other sources when we think of energy transition, she added.

She, however, cautioned saying that much work is needed to deploy nuclear power with determination and speed.

Leon also pointed out that the current energy market is unstable, and there is a need to take a step back and adopt scientific approaches to make the sustainable energy transition a success.

Yousef Al-Ghamdi, executive director of strategic planning at the Saudi Electricity Co. noted that renewable energy will play an important role in energy transition, especially hydrogen energy.

Shihab Elborai, a partner at Strategy& Middle East, underscored the importance of technological advances to meet the challenges of climate change. He said recycling can help mitigate the climate effect and reduce carbon in the environment, therefore countries should invest in efficient technologies to improve the energy sector.

Peter Hartley, the George A. Peterkin Professor of Economics at Rice University, said natural gas is cheaper and a better option and as an energy source is going to stay. He added that nuclear energy is a costly affair.

Ayad Alamri, executive director for business development, at ACWA Power, said that PVC has a key role in clean energy management and distribution as we are aiming at a net-zero future.


Saudi, Hong Kong bourses sign MoU to explore listing opportunities

Saudi, Hong Kong bourses sign MoU to explore listing opportunities
Updated 07 February 2023

Saudi, Hong Kong bourses sign MoU to explore listing opportunities

Saudi, Hong Kong bourses sign MoU to explore listing opportunities

RIYADH: Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing to work together to explore listing opportunities and collaborate in sectors such as fintech and environmental, social and governance, according to a tweet by the parent company of the Saudi Exchange.

The MoU reflected the HKEX’s “ongoing commitment to driving global connectivity and shaping a successful shared sustainable future,” said Nicolas Aguzin, CEO of the Hong Kong bourse operator.

“This MoU brings us one step closer toward enabling cross listings and other areas of collaboration between Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong,” Tadawul CEO Khalid Al-Hussan was quoted as saying by the Chinese media.

“As we seek to position the Saudi capital market as an investment hub between East and West, we are seeing increased interest from issuers and investors in Asia.”

 

 


Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association launched at LEAP

Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association launched at LEAP
Updated 07 February 2023

Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association launched at LEAP

Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association launched at LEAP

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabia-China Entrepreneur Association was launched at the LEAP 2023 conference in Riyadh on Tuesday.

The association — comprising over 100 Saudi and Chinese businesses, government entities, nongovernmental organizations, and academic institutions — seeks to boost cooperation between the private sectors on both sides along with bilateral ties at the government level. 

The nonprofit organization is supported by the Saudi Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones. It will be operated by eWTP Arabia Capital.

“In line with Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, SCEA will enable cross-border investments and valuable collaborations,” said Jerry Li, founder and managing partner of eWTPA. 

The organization also plans to promote investment, encourage innovation, and develop social responsibility and public welfare.  

“China is a strategic partner for Saudi Arabia in terms of technology and innovation. Having worked closely with Alibaba and eWTPA for the last three years, I highly appreciate their efforts in contributing to the development of our local digital ecosystem,” said Faisal Al-Khamisi, chairman of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones. 

Al-Khamisi added: “This association will take our collaboration to the next level and provide the broader Saudi-China business community with a forum to share valuable experiences.”   


Jordanian-Iraqi business forum to start Wednesday in Baghdad

Jordanian-Iraqi business forum to start Wednesday in Baghdad
Updated 07 February 2023

Jordanian-Iraqi business forum to start Wednesday in Baghdad

Jordanian-Iraqi business forum to start Wednesday in Baghdad
  • 3-day conference being held under title ‘Partnership for the Future’
  • Jordanian delegation to include company representatives from range of sectors

AMMAN: A Jordanian-Iraqi business forum will on Wednesday get underway in Baghdad with company representatives and investors from both countries taking part.
The Jordan Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Jordanian Businessmen Association are co-organizing the three-day event, which is being held under the title “Partnership for the Future,” the Jordan News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The participating Jordanian delegation will include representatives of firms operating in various economic sectors including foodstuffs, communications, information technology, medicines, clothing, financial and banking services, insurance, construction, contracting, real estate development, tourism, agriculture, mining, and plastics industries.
In regard to the current global economic situation, the forum will provide a chance for the private sectors of Jordan and Iraq to work together and make the most of the opportunities available, advancing the strategic goals and common interests of the two countries.
The forum will be held concurrently with the joint Jordanian-Iraqi committee meetings and will feature bilateral talks between Jordanian and Iraqi business leaders as well as an overview of investment opportunities in Jordan.
The Jordanian party will be one of the biggest economic delegations to visit Baghdad, reflecting Amman’s desire to forge close economic ties with Iraq and support initiatives launched by King Abdullah II and the Iraqi leadership.