Investments

Saudi’s SiFi raises $10 million seed for its spend management platform

Riyadh-headquartered fintech SiFi has raised $10 million in a seed round led by Public Investment Fund’s Sanabil Investments, and Raed Ventures, it announced in a statement today. The round was also joined by ANB seed (a seed fund by ANB Capital, the investment arm of Arab National Bank), Saudi’s Rua Ventures, Dubai-based Byld Ventures, and Khalid bin Alwaleed’s KBW Ventures. It also includes participation from existing investors; Saudi-based Khwarizmi Ventures, Seedra Ventures, and Tech Invest Com.

Sanabil which led the round has been investing actively in Saudi startups but it is the first they’ve led a seed round directly. (They run a program with 500 Startups, Sanabil 500 MENA Seed Accelerator, through which they’ve invested at seed or even earlier stages in different regional startups indirectly).

Founded in 2021 by Ahmed Alhakbani who was previously Governor of Saudi Customs, and Saudi’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Trade, SiFi (or Simplified Financial Solutions Company) is a spend management platform that enables businesses to automate their expense processes, with its corporate cards for employees.

The startup which claims to be the first spend management fintech to be licensed by Saudi’s central bank allows companies to issue Mastercard corporate (virtual and physical) cards to its employees through its platforms that can be used anywhere in the world. The cards come with spend limits and different controls like category and security restrictions.

SiFi’s platform enables finance teams in organizations to track expenses real-time, set team budgets with custom policies, and monitor and control the spend with different controls and reports. The platform will soon also add automatic reconciliation that will come with direct integrations for leading accounting software, according to its website.

The fintech also offers reimbursment management through its platform, enabling employees to submit reimbursment requests by just snapping the receipts. They can also track the status of request on the app. The manager and the finance teams can approve or reject the requests through the SiFi web or mobile apps.

In a statement, the startup said that its Saudi affiliate Alhulul Almobassatah Financial Company recently received an Electronic Money Institution (EMI) license from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), “This allows the company to provide e-wallet services, enabling users to store and manage money by electronic means,” noted the statement.

Ahmed Alhakbani, Founder and CEO of SiFi, commenting on the investment, said, “We are thrilled to have closed this significant round and gained the support of such prominent and strategic partners. This funding will enable us to further enhance our offering, deliver even greater value to our customers, and cement our position as the go-to spend management solution in Saudi Arabia.”

“Our aim is to empower stakeholders within companies to make informed decisions at the right time while providing finance teams with the tools they need to effectively enforce company spend policies,” he added

The other notable spend management platforms in the region include Dubai-based Pluto and Qashio. The latter partnered with a Saudi bank in 2023 to roll out its solutions in the country. The website, however, doesn’t have any details on their operations in Saudi. Both these companies are serving clients in Saudi.

A spokesperson for Sanabil Investments, commenting on the round, said, “What attracted us to SiFi was three-fold: its outstanding team, compelling product offering, and the largely underserved market in Saudi as businesses are increasingly recognizing the need for more efficient financial management tools. We look forward to supporting their next phase of growth and to help them capture the opportunity ahead.”

Omar Almajdouie, the Founding Partner at Raed Ventures, said, “Expense management for enterprises in Saudi Arabia and the GCC is at a transformative stage, with businesses increasingly seeking more efficient and transparent solutions. SiFi’s innovative platform addresses this critical need by offering comprehensive spend management software tools that empower organizations to optimize their financial processes.”

The Saudi startup plans to use the latest funds to fuel its growth.

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