Saudi start-up FOODICS, a provider of cloud-based point-of-sale and restaurant management systems, has secured a Series B funding round worth US$20 million, which will enable it to expand its fintech offerings, particularly into the retail sector. NESSREEN TAMANO has the details.
The funding round, led by the Saudi Public Investments Fund’s subsidiary Sanabil Investments and venture capital firm STV, is expected to accelerate FOODICS’s international expansion and its plan to serve the retail sector in the Kingdom as well as in the UAE and Egypt, where it also operates.
Other investors in the Series B funding include co-investment fund Endeavor Catalyst, venture capital fund Derayah and digital solutions provider Elm.
“We are delighted to start the year on such a high note, having been able to gain the support and trust of such prominent investors. 2020 was a tough year during which we have proactively captured opportunities,” said Ahmad Al-Zaini, the co-founder and CEO of FOODICS. He added that the funding would help the company upscale, with plans to have 500 employees by 2022.
“[FOODICS] is strategically positioned to become critical infrastructure for SMEs and a de facto platform to connect digital players with offline retailers,” noted Ahad AlNaimi, a partner at STV. Sanabil Investments meanwhile said that it views the company as a key enabler in the acceleration of retail digitization trends in the region.
The company’s platform currently serves the Saudi food and beverage (F&B) market, for which it had recently established a US$100 million Shariah compliant microfinancing fund through its lending arm FOODICS Capital. The fund also supports Saudi retail merchants with Islamic microfinancing.
The latest investment round brings the total funds raised by FOODICS so far to US$28 million. In late 2020, it received a license from the Saudi Central Bank as a payment institution for its point-of-sale services, joining the growing number of licensed fintech companies in the Kingdom.
While there are no official requirements from the regulator for fintech companies to offer Islamic products, IFN understands that the companies, including FOODICS, consider Shariah compliance in their offerings.