Abu Dhabi’s Rizek raises $3.5 million seed for its home services platform

Abu Dhabi-based home services startup Rizek has raised $3.5 million in a seed round, it announced in a statement on Saturday. The investment came from Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), E-Tech Investments, Rozana Investments, and some other investors. The round, Rizek said, is one of the largest-ever seed rounds raised by a regional startup and takes its total funding to $5 million. It had raised $1.5 million in a round just nine months ago.

Founded in 2019 by Abdallah Abu-Sheikh, Rizek enables users to book different types of home and beauty services through its mobile apps in the United Arab Emirates & Jordan. The startup had launched its marketplace in February earlier this year.

According to the information available on its apps, Rizek offers different services including home maintenance (e.g. cleaning, plumbing, electrical works, etc.), beauty & wellness (for both men and women), healthcare, and education through its network of gig workers. The users can pay for the service with their credit card or cash.

Rizek said that it aims to increase job opportunities for gig workers, allowing them to earn service-based income through its platform. It also plans to work with freelancers and SME service providers to help them improve their skills and land more opportunities.

There are multiple other players operating in this space in both United Arab Emirates and Jordan but Rizek is apparently trying to bring a diversified set of services on one platform. What we’ve seen generally is such marketplaces limiting themselves to home services. Rizek is trying to go beyond that which could be a double-edged sword as maintaining the quality of very different types of services could become a big challenge.

UrbanClap, the Indian startup is perhaps the only big player offering both home and beauty services to customers in the United Arab Emirates. It had raised $75 million in a Series E last year from Tiger Global and Dubai-based Vy Capital.

Abdallah Abu-Sheikh, the founder and CEO of Rizek, said, “Most of the big cities in the region have a service-based economy. However, the way these services are delivered happens to be outdated and costly. We at Rizek believe that the region needs an inclusive platform where customers can view all their options before commissioning the services.”

“What we plan to do at Rizek is to essentially democratize the informal workspace by being the first to build a one-stop-shop marketplace for services in the region.  This will allow both suppliers as well as consumers to maximize the value and benefit they 
receive,” he added. 

ADIO’s Director General Tariq Bin Hendi, said, “Rizek is part of a new generation of start-ups thriving within the Abu Dhabi innovation ecosystem. ADIO’s investment will fuel the next stage of the company’s growth while helping to connect more freelancers and SMEs with potential commercial opportunities.”

The Abu Dhabi-based startup said that in light of current economic conditions, it intends to strengthen and maintain a fair marketplace, where customers get quality services at prices that is fair both to them and the provider.

Featured image via The National.

(The story was updated with more details at 12 PM GMT after receiving a statement from Rizek). 

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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