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Investcorp leads $130m pre-IPO funding for Saudi startup

Saudi e-commerce software startup Salla has enabled $7bn in e-commerce sales since 2020 Unsplash
Saudi e-commerce software startup Salla has enabled $7bn in e-commerce sales since 2020

Salla, a Saudi e-commerce software startup, has raised $130 million in its pre-IPO investment round, led by Bahrain’s alternative asset manager Investcorp.

Sanabil Investment, a subsidiary of Public Investment Fund and STV, a venture capital investor and an existing Salla shareholder, also participated in the transaction, Investcorp said in a statement.

Bahrain-headquartered Investcorp made the investment through its Saudi pre-IPO growth fund. As part of the deal, Robin Mansour, principal at Investcorp, will join the board of the Saudi startup.

Salla, established in 2016 in Makkah, allows merchants to tap into a $20 billion e-commerce market expected to grow over 25 percent year on year in the coming years.

Since 2020, the company has recorded $7 billion in e-commerce sales and serves over 80,000 active merchants on the platform. 

“We see great interest in the potential of Saudi companies to IPO, especially as scale-ups and unicorns demonstrate local and regional success,” said Walid Majdalani, head of emerging markets private equity, Investcorp.

Investcorp’s fund has previously led a pre-IPO funding round in UAE’s TruKKer, followed by an investment in NourNet, a Saudi ICT company. 

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