Saudi's Nana secures $18mln series B funding

Online grocery platform sees significant spike in demand amid coronavirus outbreak


Nana, a Saudi Arabia-based online grocery and commodities delivery platform, has raised $18 million in series B funding.

The funding round was led by Saudi Technology Ventures (STV), a Riyadh-based independent venture capital fund anchored by Saudi Telecom Group, and included participation from Watar Partners, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC).

“Online grocery market in Saudi Arabia has the potential to grow 18 times to reach global penetration rates,” Ahmad Alshammari, principal at STV said.

Nana connects users with popular supermarket brands and specialty retail shops. It was launched back in 2016 and currently operates in 14 cities in the kingdom.

The bulk of the fund will be allocated towards bolstering growth, the Riyadh-based online grocery said in a statement, noting that it plans to expand its operations and market reach within Saudi Arabia and the wider Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

Nana sees a substantial opportunity to digitise the grocery business, citing that the market in Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt alone amounts to $83 billion.

“The round will also allow us to further improve our customer experience and develop tech solutions to support the growth and development of Nana’s success partners,” Sami Alhelwah, co-founder and CEO of Nana said.

The company has also seen “a significant spike in demand” during the coronavirus outbreak, as people are opting to buy their groceries online, to minimise their exposure to the virus.

“This sudden shift in behaviour will likely contribute to Nana’s growth in the long-term, as more people get exposed to Nana’s services, consumer trust thickens, and behaviour shifts towards digital,” the statement said.

Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry announced on Wednesday a second coronavirus death and 133 new infections, taking the total number of cases in the kingdom to 900, while 29 people have recovered from the virus so far.

Worldwide, the number of cases has reached more than 450,000.

(Reporting by Gerard Aoun; Editing by Cleofe Maceda)

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