Investcorp Invests in Salla, Saudi Arabia’s Leading SaaS e-Commerce Enablement Platform

Investcorp, a leading global alternative investment firm today announced it has led a $130 million pre-IPO investment round in Salla, a leading SaaS E-Commerce enablement platform in Saudi Arabia. The investment was made alongside Sanabil Investment, a wholly owned company by the Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. STV, a regional venture capital investor and an existing shareholder of Salla, also participated in the transaction.

Salla was established in 2016 in Makkah to promote the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Saudi Arabia by providing SMEs and aspiring entrepreneurs with a proprietary SaaS solution to deliver on their e-commerce ambitions. Today, Salla enables merchants to tap into a $20 billion e-commerce market expected to grow over 25% year-on-year in the coming years. Since 2020, Salla has enabled $7 billion in e-commerce sales and currently serves over 80 thousand active merchants on the platform. 

Founded by Nawaf Hariri and Salman Butt, the Company now has over 160 developers focused on technology and product development. It offers merchants a fully-digitalized and automated solution, allowing them to build their e-commerce website, start selling their products online within a few hours, accept online payments, and ship their products to the end user. Beyond being fully integrated with online payment solutions and logistics companies, Salla has over 400 applications on its platform supporting its merchants throughout the lifecycle of running an online business.

Investcorp’s investment was made through Investcorp Saudi Pre-IPO Growth Fund LP, a platform targeting equity growth capital investments across a range of companies primarily based in Saudi Arabia with the potential to access the capital markets. Additionally, Robin Mansour, Principal at Investcorp will be joining the Board of Directors of Salla.

The Fund allows investors to gain exposure to growing and market-leading businesses in strategic, high-growth sectors such as business services, transport and logistics, healthcare, and consumer.

Investcorp Head of Emerging Markets Private Equity, Walid Majdalani, said, “Saudi Arabia today has over a million SMEs, having grown three times over the past five years. We believe that the Kingdom’s transformation agenda will continue to drive innovation and empower the next generation of entrepreneurs, with Salla acting as a key enabler to support the development of new companies in the e-commerce ecosystem”.

He added, “We see great interest in the potential of Saudi companies to IPO, especially as scale-ups and unicorns demonstrate local and regional success. Salla has managed to grow exponentially and deliver best-in-class margins. We are excited to be part of their next growth phase and are keen to work with the founder and management team to explore a potential future listing in line with our track record”.

Nawaf Hariri, CEO and Co-Founder of Salla, added, “We are deeply grateful for the trust and investment from Investcorp and Sanabil in Salla, which reflects their confidence in our vision and our platform’s potential. This investment propels us forward in our ongoing mission to open opportunities and empower individuals, SMEs, and enterprises to start and expand their businesses both within and beyond Saudi Arabia. We are committed to delivering innovative, customer-centric solutions that simplify and enhance the e-commerce experience for our merchants.”

Investcorp, through Investcorp Saudi Pre-IPO Growth Fund LP, previously led a pre-IPO funding round in TruKKer, a leading MENA digital freight network, with over 45,000 trucks inducted on its platform. This was followed by the fund’s investment in NourNet, one of Saudi Arabia’s leading ICT companies, with over 1,200 B2B clients operating across 20 industries.

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