Saudi-based b2b E-commerce startup and MENA's rising digital wholesaler Sary has successfully acquired B2B platform Mowarrid, marking its first move into the Egyptian market amidst continuous acquisition efforts to expand across MENAP.
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Saudi-based and MENAP servicing B2B E-commerce platform Sary has announced its acquisition of Mowarrid, one of the leading B2B marketplaces in Egypt. After raising the highest E-commerce funding round in Egypt ($75M Series C), this acquisition reflects a strategic move for Sary toward its expansion plans throughout the North African markets starting from Egypt, the second-largest economy in Africa, and the third-largest in the Arab world with a $60 billion wholesale and retail trade industry.
With extensive E-commerce, Fintech, and venture building experience coming from Fawry Pay, Jumia, and Cognitev; Ahmed Essam founded Mowarrid in 2018 focusing on the B2B Food & Grocery markets. He led the company toward unlocking a $25M run rate allowing more than 10,000 retailers to digitally procure all their needs across a variety of more than 1000 products in the platform. This acquisition is the beginning of multiple expansion activities for Sary toward its vision to lead the B2B e-commerce in emerging markets starting with MENAP. Bridging its geographies to enable a regional network to connect buyers and sellers across markets.
The emergence of regional players across MENA and Emerging Venture Markets could be traced back to the early days of Careem and Souq upon their organic expansions and eventually throughout their acquisitions by global players. As observed in our flagship MENA 2022 Venture Investment Report, MENA-based startups recorded more than double Exits in 2021 than the year before. Most remarkably, the 120% YoY growth in Exits was driven by a number of startups acquiring their counterparts across geographies to expand across markets. This cross-pollination has been highly evident in acquisitions like Egypt-based MaxAB (EGY) acquiring its Moroccan counterpart Waystocap to consolidate markets, Saudi-based DIGGIPACKS acquiring its Egyptian counterpart FWRUN to enter a new market, or even Jordan-based Abwaab acquiring Pakistan-based Edmatrix to expand their services beyond their given geographies. The race towards the regionals could also be traced in the cross-startup VC investment climate, where we’ve seen startups like Egypt-based Elmenus raising investments from the likes of Fawry and Uber-backed Careem, or social commerce platform Brimore backing its logistics service provider Milezmore.
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The fast-growing Saudi B2B marketplace has set forth on expanding across the region with a focus on building a frictionless experience and leveraging cutting-edge technologies to connect MSMEs with the biggest network of international brands and regional players. In its first move to Egypt, one of the largest markets in Africa, the Saudi-based startup has found potential in the hyperlocalized offering, intuitive technology, and market landscape depth of Mowarrid as Mohammed AlDossary, Co-Founder and CEO of Sary elaborated, “we are excited to join forces with Ahmed and the amazing team at Mowarrid, their hyperlocal understanding of the Egyptian market is profound, and we believe that our visions are in harmony toward reinventing the B2B ecosystem across the region.” AlDossary added, “Egypt is a strategic market for us and has a huge synergy with the Saudi and GCC markets. The industry has witnessed significant growth in the past years with very strong digitization in the wholesale and retail trade industry which accounted for around 15% of Egypt’s GDP.”
While the valuation and financial details of this acquisition remain undisclosed, Mowarrid was able to leverage the power of smart technologies, focusing on an underserved SME segment rooted with potential, to create a unique market offering and make its way to Exit. Since its inception, the Egypt-based B2B platform was able to bootstrap its early-stage investment into scaling success as it enters an elevated level of operation. Founder and CEO of Mowarrid Ahmed Essam highlighted, “Since 2018, Mowarrid’s journey has been rewarding by enabling small businesses in Egypt with smarter supply chain solutions. Today, joining forces with Sary to build one stronger entity with a solid footprint, regional network, and technological capabilities in two of the most important economies in the region.”
Since its inception, Sary has raised a total of $112M in funding after closing its series C round last December, it became the first startup to close a Series C financing round in Saudi Arabia. The company has reached more than 350,000 customers and served over 40,000 businesses in 15 cities across Saudi Arabia moving more than 270,000 pallets of goods across the country. This acquisition marks their official launch in the Egyptian market which will be driven to fruition with the resources and expertise of the well-positioned Mowarrid Team as Sary’s CEO/Co-Founder Mohammed AlDossari concluded, “Sharing many values and principles, our combined force is our greatest advantage in the next years as we continue to solidify our grounds in the current markets and continue the expansion journey with a solid head start.”
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