UAE comparison site Souqalmal raises $10m in funding round

      Published on Friday, 6 October , 2017      172 Views     
UAE comparison site Souqalmal raises $10m in funding round


UAE-based comparison site Souqalmal.com has raised $10m in a series B investment round.

The round was led by the SAR500m ($133.3m) Saudi-based Riyadh TAQNIA Fund and saw participation from UK comparison site GoCompare in its first international investment and UAE Exchange Group.




Souqalmal said it would use the proceeds to launch new business lines including for health, travel and home insurance, develop its technology platform and invest in marketing.

The company currently offers comparisons of 3,200 banking, insurance and education products in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

It plans to officially launch its car insurance comparison platform in Saudi Arabia through a broker in the next few months after launching the category in the UAE in June last year and seeing 800 per cent growth.

CEO and founder Ambareen Musa said the company had seen revenue growth of 300 per cent annually since launching in 2012 and had cut its customer acquisition cost by 80 per cent.

Beyond Saudi Arabia the firm also plans to expand its presence in the wider Gulf region beginning with Bahrain, she told Gulf Business, but the company will do so gradually.

“The idea is to really become the MENA player but what we want to do is start with GCC player first and then actually go into North Africa,” she said.

The investment round follows a recent trend of international players investing in regional companies including US online shopping giant Amazon’s estimated $650m acquisition of Souq.com and China’s Didi Chuxing’s investment in Careem.

“Instead of trying to do it on their own they are starting to see the talent is there, the infrastructure is there and we’re attracting a lot of international players,” Musa added.

GoCompare chief strategy and investment officer Faisal Galaria said the company would seek to pass on its expertise in marketing, customer acquisition, relationships and technology to support Souqalmal to “become as dominant here as we are in UK”.

“We look at the size of the opportunity here in the GCC market and clearly it’s a moment in time when the market is set to explode especially given what’s happening in Saudi Arabia so it seemed like an opportune moment for us to make our first international investment,” he said.

Promoth Manghat, the CEO of UAE Exchange, said the investment fell within the $250m to $300m sum the firm had announced for investments to increase its global market share.

“We see that the value chain of offering at this point of time is limited and we could definitely extend that through Souqalmal,” he told Gulf Business.

“You cannot have a strategy of serving the customer through one single channel, you need to have a multichannel strategy and that’s what the marketplace brings you.”

Souqalmal competes with Dubai-based comparison site compareit4me, which itself raised $3.5m in a funding round in May led by STC Ventures and Wamda Capital

Musa said the market had consolidated from an initial seven players when the company first started to now only two, but the presence of other players was also important for educating consumers about aggregator sites.

“From an individual perspective, it’s who builds the best trust and the most branding and that’s more on the business side, but I think overarching with that it’s very important to have more than one player,” she said.



http://gulfbusiness.com/

Keywords:
Category Dubai, Gulf News | 2017/10/06 latest update at 12:00 AM
Source : | Photocredit :
173 Views
Comments Add comment



Gulf Media

Related Articles

The editorial staff of Saudi Arabia Today would like to give all of its readers from Gulf and Saudi Arabia and the whole world the opportunity to participate actively in the development of the website! If you have something interesting, fun, scandalous - just something worth to be seen from more people. Capture it and share it in the Saudi Arabia Today with a short text.

Do you have information you want to reach our readers?

Send article/s

You can subscribe to our Facebook, Twitter and Google pages or use our RSS feed channel to always read the most important news about Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and the world.


Sponsored Publications



Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives GCC Secretary General King

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques receives GCC Secretary General

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud received here today the Secretary…

Saudi Arabia Underlines Harmony with UAE for Interests of their People, Region King

Saudi Arabia Underlines Harmony with UAE for Interests of their People, Region

The Saudi cabinet hailed on Tuesday the visit paid to the United Arab Emirates last week by Crown…

Saudi king hosts CIA chief Gina Haspel for talks King

Saudi king hosts CIA chief Gina Haspel for talks

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman hosted the Central Intelligence Agency’s director Thursday, state media said, after three people were…

Saudi Arabia, Palestinians Agree on Joint Business Council Events

Saudi Arabia, Palestinians Agree on Joint Business Council

Saudi Arabia and the Palestinians agreed on Thursday to establish a joint economic committee and a business council,…

GULF TV

Popular in GULF TV

PIRELLI “DREAMING” – THE CAL 2019 making of Full Version | Fashion Channel

2578 Views

A photographic tale of the aspirations of four women and their determination to achieve their goals, each one…

Latest videos in GULF TV

175 Views

THE WITCHER

Events

Lifestyle

Culture

Sport

Science & Technology

Government