Saudi PIF unit backs $24mln funding in Jordanian classifieds platform

OpenSooq has 65mln consumers and businesses using its platform and the total value of items sold by users is around $30bln per year

  
Streets in illuminated cityscape, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Streets in illuminated cityscape, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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The Saudi Jordanian Investment Fund (SJIF), a subsidiary of the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, was one of the main investors behind the $24 million financing raised by a Jordanian online classifieds platform.

OpenSooq.com was established in 2012 and allows consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to buy and sell goods across a number of sectors including real estate, automobiles, electronics, furniture, and fashion.

In addition to the SJIF, the other major investors included New York-based investment firm FJ Labs, and iMENA Group, a venture capital company based out of Dubai and Amman.

Omar Alwir, CEO of the SJIF, said: “SJIF is delighted to lead this round of investment driven by its belief that investing in promising Jordanian technology companies that are on the cusp of transformational growth, such as OpenSooq, supports Jordan’s position as a core technology innovation and operational hub for local and regional technology companies.

“Our investment in OpenSooq is an example of combining commercial viability and developmental progress potential in Jordan. Through our patient, long-term investment approach, we aim to bring value to OpenSooq, and the communities in which it operates, and also to contribute to job creation for Jordanian talents.”

OpenSooq has 65 million consumers and businesses using its platform and the total value of items sold by users is around $30 billion per year. It operates across 19 geographies, while its key markets are Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Egypt, and Libya.

Adey Salamin, OpenSooq’s co-founder and CEO, said: “Every 13 seconds an item is sold on OpenSooq. Our local team built a platform that tens of millions of users and SMEs rely on to engage with buyers or sellers, with functionality and reliability that puts us among the top classifieds platforms globally.”

He noted that the company would use the new funding to hire an additional 400 people in Jordan and develop its product.

The SJIF was established in 2017 and is 90 percent owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, with the remaining 10 percent owned by 16 Jordanian banks.

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