Investments

Dubai’s BulkWhiz raises multi-million Series A for its AI-driven bulk grocery ecommerce platform

Dubai-based bluk grocery eocmmerce platform BulkWhiz has closed its Series A, the startup announced today in a statement to MENAbytes. BulkWhiz did not disclose the exact size of investment but has confirmed to MENAbytes that it is a multi-million (USD) round.

The round was led by Dubai-based BECO Capital (who have just closed their second fund with $100 million) and joined by China’s MSA Capital (who’ve been very active in the region lately), 500 Startups (500 Flacons), and Kuwait-based Faith Capital.

Founded in late 2016 (launched in 2017) by Amira Rashad who previously worked for Facebook and Yahoo (from their offices in Dubai) and Yusuf Saber who was the Data Science Lead at Careem, BulkWhiz enables consumers and small businesses buy groceries and household products in bulk through its mobile apps or web-based platform.

The prices on the platform drop as the users increase quantity of a product in their cart. BulkWhiz has built its own proprietary AI technology to make it easier for users to buy groceries online by learning from consumer behavior and personalizing experience to their needs. Its app comes with a buy again page to help users go through a list of items they’ve purchased in previous orders and add them to cart in a few taps.

Amira Rashad, the co-founder and CEO of BulkWhiz, in an interview last year had said that Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the ideal solution to everyone’s grocery shopping problem, “By factoring in everything from shopping behaviours to weather patterns, BulkWhiz’s proprietary, home-grown, AI technology helps shoppers optimize household consumption and save money, time and effort. BulkWhiz helps you simplify grocery shopping by creating a one time, personalised shopping list of the grocery items you buy constantly. It gives you a simple and user-friendly interface to manage your household buying needs with clever features like the ability to snooze or modify orders with one click. The list is powered by technology to help you never run out of key essentials like toilet paper or diapers.”

In another interview, talking about their first AI product Quantifier, Amira had said, “Most people in the region are not used to buying in bulk are not sure how much to buy of any given item, and how often to buy it. That is why we developed the Quantifier, which asks you 1-2 simple questions related to the category of the item needed, and then advises you on the product configuration and frequency that best suits your needs.”

Grocery, according to the statement by BulkWhiz accounts for ~$175 billion across the Middle East & North Africa and grocery ecommerce in the region per statement stands at 1 percent compared to 8 percent in more advanced markets.

The Dubai-based startup that has been witnessing 30 percent (plus) month over month growth did not share the specifics but said that it will use the latest investment to continue building its proprietary AI, add new channels and expand to new markets.

Amira Rashad, co-founder and CEO of BulkWhiz, said, “We are very excited to be scaling our platform to address a huge market opportunity across the region through leveraging our homegrown technology. As a mom, I am acutely aware of the challenges of grocery shopping from wasted time, and running out, to not getting proper service or value for money. Frankly, I am excited that BulkWhiz is addressing all these challenges one by one for MENA consumers.”

Zubair Naeem Paracha

Founder at MENAbytes
A tech and startup enthusiast based in Riyadh. Zubair apart from leading MENAbytes is also building Qraar, a career discovery and development platform for millennials in MENA. He can be reached on Linkedin, Twitter or zubair [at] menabytes [dot] com.
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