Startup Retailo secures $6.7 million seed funding, total investment reaches $9m

Retailo, a startup that aims to simplify retail by using technology and increasing access by making supply chains uncomplicated and efficient, has secured $6.7 million in seed funding, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The startup also secured $2.3m in a pre-seed funding round in October 2020. With the new investment, Retailo’s total has reached $9m within nine months of starting operations, the startup said.

The startup — the “fastest-growing” business to business (B2B) platform in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan, and Pakistan (Menap) region — was founded last year by three Pakistanis: Talha Ansari, Muhammad Nowkhaiz and Wahaj Ahmed.

Its senior leadership comprises a diverse mix of people with experience from Careem, McKinsey, Rocket Internet, Amazon, eBay, Dubizzle, Daraz, and Foodpanda, according to the statement.

“Retailo is the only regional player in the B2B services space of Menap that has operations in [Saudi Arabia] and Pakistan, offering an FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) wholesale marketplace with warehousing solutions.

“By making supply chains more efficient and empowering and unlocking the earning potential of 10 million SME retailers, Retailo aims to have an outsized impact on the economy of the entire region,” the startup said.

Over the last few months, the company has expanded operations in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and is set to become a “major regional player in the B2B e-commerce space of Menap”, the statement said, adding that the startup has “tens of thousands of retailers, thousands of SKUs in its portfolio and a growing team of over 400”.

Retailo is backed by the Shorooq Partners, which led both funding rounds, as well as Abercross Holdings in the UK, AgFunder from Silicon Valley, and Arzan Venture Capital which is based in the Middle East. Besides this, the seed round brought together a “strong investor base with deep regional roots and a strong global reach,” the startup said.

It is also backed by individual investors, including former managing director of Careem Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Junaid Iqbal, who is also an adviser to the Retailo team.

Speaking about the funding, co-founder Talha Ansari said: “With this investment, Retailo is geared for hyper-growth to rapidly build on what we have already achieved in a short time. The current round of $6.7m will not only help us expand our existing verticals across Menap but also build new, much-needed technology products for the highly underserved SME market and bring us closer to achieving our grand vision of unlocking the earning potential of 10 million SMEs.”

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