Saudi food delivery startup Jahez raises $36 million in country’s largest VC deal

Riyadh-based food delivery platform Jahez has raised $36.5 million (SAR 137 million) in a Series A round led by Saudi VC Impact46, the startup and investment firm announced today. According to our data, the deal is the largest-ever for a Saudi startup and one of the largest Series A rounds of the region.

According to the statement, it entails the sale of both primary and secondary shares. It is not immediately clear how much of this money is for Jahez and how much has gone to previous shareholders. The statement has not shared details about which previous shareholders have exited (a part or all of) their stake.

Founded in 2016 by Ghassab Al-Mandil, Jahez’s food delivery platform offers complete delivery solutions (with the help of freelance couriers) to its restaurant partners in over 20 cities of the Kingdom, competing with the likes of Delivery Hero’s HungerStation, Careem Now, and many other local players. Its platform automates the inbound order flow through a single point and provides last-mile delivery service too, to deliver food to customers.

It has recently also expanded its offering to grocery stores and non-food retailers, delivering to their customers as a large number of people stay indoors due to Covid-19 and are make these purchases online.

The startup claims to serve 3 million users through its network of 15,000 delivery driver. The statement said that Jahez is on its way to exceeding $270 million (SAR 1 billion) in order value in 2020 sourced from over 12,000 points of sales across the Kingdom. It has processed more than 20 million orders and has partnered with brands like McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut, SACO, and Whites Pharmacies.

Jahez is now also planning to expand into cloud-kitchens, groceries and non-food ecommerce services. It will use the fresh funds to further develop its tech, launch new products & services, and solidify its position in Saudi Arabia.

Its team of 180 employees is spread across Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, and 19 other cities in Saudi, “The success story of Jahez carries with it national pride, a Saudi company launched by Saudi management and staff with more than 90 percent of Saudization,” said the statement.

Ghassab Al-Mandil, co-founder and CEO of Jahez, in a statement, said, “Our starting point when creating Jahez was to give restaurants the tools they need to remain competitive in a digital world. In the current climate in particular, we help restaurants, supermarkets, pharmacies, and other retailers gain access to a new digital channel and generate revenue by selling through Jahez.”

“We want to continue to bring convenience, choice and reliability to our users as we fulfil our mission”. “With this funding round, we will further invest in building differentiated offerings, plugging the white spaces in the ecosystem, expanding in new verticals and developing our in-house technology, while keeping excellent customer experience at the core,” he added.

Abdulaziz Al Omran from Impact46, said, “Jahez’s management team has an entrepreneurial spirit that makes miracles happen, they grew from a small departmental team to where they are today in less than three years. Seeing how the team has stepped up during the lockdown to help many restaurants and grocery stores offer delivery services in a matter of hours has only reinforced our conviction that this start-up is something special.”

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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