Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund invests $15mln in OpenSooq

Investment aims to support the growth of OpenSooq in Jordan and the MENA

  
AMMAN — The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF) announced a $15 million investment in leading Jordanian technology company OpenSooq as part of its growth capital investment strategy, that seeks to support the growth and expansion of promising and successful Jordanian companies, according to a SJIF statement.

The investment agreement was signed by the CEO of the SJIF, Omar Alwir, and co-founder and CEO of OpenSooq, Adey Salamin. The investment aims to support the growth of OpenSooq in Jordan and the Middle East and North African Region (MENA).

On the occasion of the signing, Alwir stated that this investment supports the achievement of SJIF's strategic and developmental objectives in Jordan. This investment will support and enhance the entrepreneurial environment through the development of capabilities of local companies and providing an opportunity for regional expansion, noting that the ICT sector plays a vital role in the economic growth of Jordan with a 12 per cent contribution to the GDP.

Alwir added that Jordan is “bursting with young talent” that have demonstrated their capabilities at a regional level and have contributed to positioning the Kingdom as a hub in the IT sector throughout the region.

He added that the SJIF is keen to further explore successful investment opportunities which will contribute to addressing the challenges facing promising Jordanian companies, especially financial obstacles and entering foreign markets.

Salamin said: “We value the trust the SJIF has placed in our company OpenSooq, and its ability to expand to new markets that will include further developments, building on past successes that have been achieved.”

Salamin added that the investment will allow OpenSooq to develop its business model and increase its presence in several markets which, in return, will stimulate growth and pave the way to achieving the company’s goals and aspirations. Investing in Jordanian companies is of great importance in terms of increasing the competitiveness of the sector, improving the business environment and encouraging other investors to take similar steps.

The SJIF is a Jordanian Limited Public Shareholding Company formed in 2017 as a partnership between the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which owns 90 per cent of the company, and 16 conventional and Islamic Jordanian banks, which own the remaining 10 per cent, according to the statement.

The company was registered per Jordan Investment Fund Law number 16 for 2016, and its formation is an outcome of the Jordanian Saudi Cooperation Council and the MoU, signed between the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and the Jordan Investment Fund on August 25, 2016.

The company’s Memorandum of Association and Articles of Association were signed during the visit of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, to Jordan on March 27, 2017, in the presence of His Majesty King Abdullah, at the Royal Hashemite Court in Amman.

SJIF's investment strategy focuses on three pillars: Infrastructure projects based on the partnership between the public and private sectors in various sectors, especially in the transport, energy, tourism and water sectors; new projects in vital sectors, especially healthcare and tourism; in addition to expanding capital investments through supporting successful and promising Jordanian companies.

The SJIF announced late last year plans to implement an investment project in the healthcare sector, with an initial investment of $400 million. The project will consist of a general academic hospital which includes 300 beds, 60 outpatient clinics, and a medical university with a total capacity of 600 students, with a projected annual student intake of 100 students. The project will be developed in partnerships with two of the world’s most prestigious institutions in the fields of healthcare delivery and medical education.

Launched in 2012, OpenSooq.com is a leading mobile classifieds marketplace operating across the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), connecting millions of buyers and sellers together without intermediaries. OpenSooq.com has over 120 categories and sub-categories such as automotive, real estate, electronics, furniture, jobs, as well as a variety of different products and services, according to the statement.

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