Riyadh-based startup Syarah successfully closed a new round of investment for an undisclosed amount. The round was lead by ELM, a leading Saudi information technology company that is owned by country’s sovereign wealth fund, PIF. Syarah closed a previous round of $2M USD earlier last year.
Syarah founded in 2015 by Salah Sharef and Fayez Alanazi, is an online marketplace for buying and selling cars in Saudi Arabia, and attracts more than 2.5 million visits every month, making it the leading cars vertical in the country.
Syarah which currently has more than 20 thousand active car listings, lists both new and used cars. More than 400 dealers across the country have listed their cars on the platform. Also thousands of individual users have listed their cars on the platform as well.
In addition to car listings, Syarah offers a variety of value added services to help facilitate the process of buying and selling cars, including providing car history reports, as well as facilitating car financing online in partnership with several banks and car financing institutions in Saudi Arabia. The platform has recently launched a new service called “Syarah Online”, that allows the customer to buy a car completely online without the need for the customer to contact or visit a car dealership. Around 500 cars have been sold online through the Syarah platform since last year, with a combined gross value of more than 25 million SAR
Cofounder and CEO Salah Sharef, said "Syarah is on a mission to disrupt and reshape the way cars are bought and sold in the region. Our new partnership with Elm will help us greatly towards achieving this goal. It will help us to improve our product offering and to better serve our users with a wider range of services.”
Also cofounder and CMO, Fayez Alanazi added, that “the partnership with ELM will open up new opportunities for innovation for Syarah, and this will help in creating new services for facilitating car buy and selling in the kingdom. It will also help the Syarah team to continue enhancing it’s existing services, and to better execute future plans for improving the user experience and improving the quality of service and safety in the market.”
Saudi Arabia is the largest auto market in the Middle East, accounting for an estimated 40 percent of all vehicles sold in the region. The country has imported approximately 1 million vehicles in 2016 alone.