Riyadh-headquartered restaurant management platform Foodics has raised $20 million in a Series B round co-led by Public Investment Fund’s subsidiary Sanabil Investments and STV. It is the second investment by Sanabil in a tech startup in the region. The firm had invested last year in Dubai-based used cars marketplace SellAnyCar to help it expand to Saudi. Foodics’ latest investment round was also joined by Endeavor Catalyst, Elm, and Derayah Ventures, and takes its total funding to date $28 million.
The announcement comes on the back of Foodics expansion into micro-lending. The startup has secured a $100 million commitment about three months ago from Saudi-based Maleem Investments for Foodics Capital, its lending arm that will offer Shariah-compliant microloans to F&B and retail merchants in the Kingdom.
Started as a cloud-based POS system for restaurants, Foodics now has big fintech ambitions focused on the F&B and retail sector of Saudi. It plans to use a part of the newly raised funds to work on them in addition to accelerating its international expansion and solidifying its position in the existing markets. Foodics’ software that’s available in English, Arabic, and French (with a Spanish version in the works), is being used by restaurants all over the region to process the orders and streamline their operations. Its operations are supported by five offices across Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, where it expanded recently.
Foodics claims to have served over 10,000 F&B brands to date who have processed more than 5 billion orders through its 50,000 terminals. In addition to offering POS system, inventory management, table management, waiter digital menu, and employe timesheet, as part of its core solutions, Foodics also has a marketplace for its users (the F&B manager or owners) with over 100 apps/solutions that can be easily integrated with Foodics’ software to make the most out of it.
Ahmad Al-Zaini, the co-Founder and CEO of Foodics, commenting on the investment, said, “We are delighted to start the year on such a high note, having been able to gain the support and trust of such prominent investors. 2020 was a tough year during which we have proactively captured opportunities. We are very thankful to all our clients, investors and partners who have joined us on this journey so far, and look forward to more success together in the future.”
“At Foodics, human capital has always been a strategic competitive advantage, and this is even more important now as we upscale with this latest investment. By 2022, our goal is to have 500 employees, and we are actively seeking extraordinary talents to join our team and grow together,” added the CEO.
Mosab AlOthmani, the co-founder and CTO of the startup, said, “This funding round marks another significant milestone on our journey. With Foodics also officially recognized last month by the Saudi Central Bank (“SAMA”) as a fintech company, this will allow us to further fast track our product development, particularly into fintech for the retail sector.”
As Foodics has been working with thousands of F&B outlets for years, it is apparently sitting on a goldmine of data esp. around the sales of these restaurants, and with its expansion into lending services, it is finally making use of it. It’s in a very good position to assess credit risk and then disburse the loans starting from $5,000.
A representative from Sanabil Investments, said, “We are excited to lead this round and partner with Foodics as it grows and transitions to a fully integrated cloud-native payment and retail management platform. We view Foodics as a key enabler to the accelerating retail digitization trends in the region.”
Ahmad AlNaimi, a Partner at STV, said, “We are inspired by Foodics’ vision and what they have accomplished so far. The company is strategically positioned to become critical infrastructure for SMEs and a de facto platform to connect digital players with offline retailers. We’re excited to support Ahmad and Mosab and thrilled to join the other investors in this journey.”