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Middle East e-commerce portal Souq.com gets Dh1b plus in funding


DUBAI: E-commerce marketplace Souq.com has secured funding in excess of Dh1 billion — the largest such for an e-tailing portal in the region to date.

The investment will go towards supporting “future growth, strengthen e-commerce in the region and empower more businesses to grow online through Souq.com’s platform”, the company said in a statement.

The funding round again involved New York-based Tiger Global Management and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd, both of whom were associated in Souq.com’s earlier funding rounds.

New “strategic” investors included Standard Chartered Private Equity, IFC (a member of the World Bank Group), Baillie Gifford, and other regional and tech-focused financial institutions. Allen & Company LLC served as financial adviser.

“The e-commerce market in the Middle East is growing very fast and is expected to reach $20 billion (Dh73.46 billion) this year,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO and Co-founder of Souq.com. “Further growth is inherent from being in a market with the highest mobile penetration in the world and continued adoption of mobile commerce by our customers.”

Souq.com features more than one million products across 31 categories such as consumer electronics, fashion, health and beauty, household goods, and babycare.

It attracts more than 45 million visits per month, with localised operations in Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt.

In a recent report published by Dubai-based communications agency IHC, Souq.com ranked fifth in the brand awareness category in the UAE.

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