[EXCLUSIVE] Interview with Sabbar's Founder & CEO after Raising $1.5M in Seed Funding Round

On Sunday, 15 December, Saudi-based and on-demand work startup, Sabbar raised $1.5M in funding. This was through a seed round led by Dubai-based Venture Souq, along with 500 Startups, Derayah VC, and Super Angels from Saudi Arabia. We catch up with Sabbar's Founder & CEO, Mohamed T. Ibrahim in an exclusive interview to discuss the biggest challenges startups face regarding scaling, how Sabbar plans to use its most recently generated funding and more.

Can you tell us a bit about Sabbar and how your platform works?

Sabbar connects businesses in the retail, entertainment and service industries with job seekers. We have developed a proprietary engine, which builds user & role profiles and leverages geospatial analytics to match the workers with job opportunities near them. We consider ourselves a niche platform that focuses on roles such as cashiers, baristas, promoters, sales associates, etc.

What’s your big-picture vision for the future?

Our ultimate vision is to build and support a community of highly qualified individuals in the region that goes beyond just finding work opportunities. We are deeply committed to helping qualified & willing workers to access immediate income-generating opportunities and secure benefits that are not typically offered to short-term workers. 

Where in the MENA are you looking to expand to next? 

Markets with large population size and focus on tourism and retail jobs are considered attractive for Sabbar. We are currently looking to explore our options in Egypt, Morocco, and Algeria.

What were you looking for from your investors, beyond capital?

Sabbar is a marketplace of gig workers. During our seed fundraising,  we were looking for angel investors who have a strong understanding of both or either side of the market; businesses and job seekers. We are very glad that we have selected notable investors who not only understand our target market but understand how to build a double-sided marketplace. Their advice and guidance have been crucial in developing a go-to-market strategy that is localized and can scale in this region.

What's something or someone that really helped you fundraising?

Fundraising is an important activity yet one of the most time-consuming activities. Our journey in the MiSK 500  Startups Accelerator Program opened up our horizon on how to approach and deal with investors. We have learned key fundraising basics; such as: how to pitch, establishing the data room, how to structure around, etc. These fundamentals tactics helped us to complete our fundraising efficiently and quickly so we can get back to build our business.

What are your biggest challenges to scale?

Market readiness, the concept of hourly contracts is new in our target market. That’s why we spend a substantial effort in educating both our job seekers and businesses on these types of contracts. In addition, it is quite a challenge to remain focused on specific job roles that are appealing to our customers and job seekers.

How do you see tech changing the future of worker acquisition over the next few years? 

In the next 5 years, hourly contracts would be appealing to businesses as it would help them to hire workers during their peak hours or seasonal demands. We imagine the way people can start earning income would be as simple as one-click over the phone then showing up to work instantly. We see technology can help to match businesses with workers in a very efficient and scalable manner to discover these work opportunities and get paid by the platform.

 

Are you interested in working for a startup where your ideas and actions can truly make an impact? We have over 340 roles open from growing startups who are actively looking for rockstar talent across MENA. View all the latest jobs on MAGNiTT here: https://magnitt.com/jobs