Resal, a Jeddah-based gifting platform has raised seed investment from undisclosed investors. The size of investment is also undisclosed but we can confirm that it’s a six-figure-deal (US-dollar).
Founded in 2016 by Hatem Kameli & Fouad AlFarhan, Resal through its Arabic-only web and mobile applications allows users to buy gifts and flowers for their loved ones and have it delivered to their doorstep. Quick scan of the website suggests that there is a decent variety of flower bouquets available on the platform but not too many gifts. The platform also has subscription model that allows users to buy subscriptions and receive flowers on weekly, bi-monthly or month basis.
Both the founders of Resal are serial entrepreneurs. Hatem comes from a digital marketing background and has co-founded Lucidya, an AI-powered social media analytics platform, a digital marketing agency, and a wedding planning platform. Fouad has also founded four different startups previously including Rwaq, one of the largest Arabic education platform that attracts more than a million visitors every month.
“Ecommerce has been witnessing amazing growth in Saudi. There are 24 million users with a penetration rate of over 70%. But when we did our research, there was not any reliable online gifting platform. So it was an untapped market. That’s why we decided to work on Resal and launched its MVP in late 2016 selling gifts and flowers in Jeddah. Since then, we have been able to grow the startup to 17 Saudi cities and have achieved a YOY growth rate of 365%.” Hatem Kameli, Resal’s Co-founder told MENAbytes.
They plan to use this investment to further optimize their services and expand beyond Saudi in GCC. Some of the money will also go into hiring more people and marketing.
It may have been an empty space when Resal had started but now there are multiple players who are trying to get their slice from the pie of this market including Dubai-based joi Gifts that had raised $1.4 million in seed investment (through its parent ‘enhance’) and is available in some Saudi cities, and Kuwait-based Floward that was acquired by Talabat for $3 million in 2016.