Raha Closes Round of Pre-Series A Funding at USD 7 million, Led by Soor Capital and eWTP Arabia Capital
Reaching its impressive funding milestone in July, the Group has now positioned itself as one of the region’s most ambitious logistics tech companies, with a key focus on automation and robotics
Kuwait, 22nd November 2023: Raha, Kuwait’s fast-growing logistics tech company, recently announced the successful completion of its pre-Series A funding round. Led by Soor Capital and PIF-backed Private Equity Fund, eWTP Arabia Capital, this latest investment brings up the total raised by the ambitious tech start-up to USD 14 million. Raha’s initial round of seed funding had raised an impressive capital of USD 6.7 million, led by KSA’s Aujan Enterprises and Kuwait’s Nox Management, as well as London-headquartered VC, Cedar Mundi Ventures.
Since launching in 2022, Raha – – has quickly grown to become a multi-sector technology and automation provider offering a wide range of specialized solutions. The company’s first successful project in the Kuwaiti market was ShopRaha; the fully automated e-grocery platform that was the region’s first pure-play service. Setting a new benchmark in the grocery retail sector, ShopRaha features Kuwait’s first fully automated robotics-fulfillment center, as well as the first chilled automated warehouse globally.
Following this successful proof of concept, Raha has utilized its recent funding to broaden its industry presence, particularly in the KSA and UAE markets. This expansion capitalizes on the company’s tech-based business model – which is heavily focused on automation and robotics – to cater to growing demand in this dynamic region.
The company’s innovative approach and philosophy are embodied into its two primary verticals. The first vertical, btr.tech, is an intelligence-driven logistics consultant. btr.tech specializes in systems integration, robotics, automation solutions (powered by intelligent software), and has begun making significant inroads in KSA and the UAE. The second vertical, Smooth Logistics, was launched in 2023 and is a third-party logistics (3PL) service provider. It is uniquely positioned to assist companies in transitioning to digital platforms seamlessly and sustainably. Smooth logistics is currently serving clients in the region.
Saleh Al-Tunaib, Co-Founder and CEO of Raha, articulated the company's mission and strategy moving forward, saying: “Raha was envisioned as a company that uses technology and robotics to disrupt traditional models and redefine e-commerce. We’ve integrated advanced technology with our logistics expertise to elevate the e-commerce experience, from first to last mile. Today, our model is demonstrating its scalability and longevity, as we continue to expand our focus beyond our own e-commerce retail ventures to cement our role within the scope of the wider industry. This is proving especially effective in our recent expansions into both Saudi Arabia and the UAE.”
Al-Tunaib further emphasized the importance of an integrated approach for e-commerce success. “Investing in digital infrastructure is a crucial component for operational excellence in this day and age. ShopRaha has demonstrated the significant role integrated automation can play in intralogistics, a trend we believe is reshaping the future of e-commerce globally. As we expand, our focus remains on ensuring a smooth, efficient transition of both the customer experience and operational capabilities to the online domain.”
On his part, Mohammed Razzouqi - Partner at Soor Capital, said: “Raha is a case study, demonstrating what a digital-first operation could be. We’ve seen many businesses make the shift to the digital domain in the past few years – especially during the pandemic – but few have been able to make that transition successfully. With Raha’s tangible success and a new round of investment, they will be well positioned to play a larger role in shaping the region’s automation and robotics industries as both a consultant and service provider.”
Also commenting on Raha’s past and future growth, Marzouq AlBahar, CEO of Nox Management, said: “We are proud to have been a part of Raha’s journey since its early inception, and our investment is in the long-term vision it has laid out. What started off as an ambitious original concept fueled by technology has now become a scalable construct for a smarter, more efficient model of digital commerce. Bringing together smart data solutions with integrated automated systems means we can truly re-imagine the retail industry for a new generation.”
On his part, Jerry Li, Founder and Managing Partner of eWTP Arabia Capital said: “One of our core goals has always been to accelerate the growth of digital eco-systems in MENA, As the companies we invest in develop their business in Saudi Arabia, they acquire the know-how necessary to replicate their business model throughout the entire MENA region and expand methodically into other markets. In communicating with Chinese companies, we learned about the obstacles that China's robotics and automation solutions face in the process of global expansion. Raha's solution can perfectly help them make a soft landing. Based on the management’s rich local experience, we are very optimistic that more Chinese companies will contribute to the development of the Middle East and North Africa through solution partners like Raha in the future.”
A true homegrown success story, Raha has made a name for itself in the region as a start-up to watch. Starting off with a small core team of four people, Raha now houses a dynamic team of more than 166 people across its various verticals, ShopRaha, Btr.Tech and Smooth Logistics.
ShopRaha, as the company’s first full-fledged business, has recorded massive business growth since its launch in April 2022. Establishing itself as a top market player in Kuwait’s competitive and expansive grocery e-commerce market, it has recorded 3x growth in its top-line since inception. ShopRaha was also named as one of Kuwait’s top start-ups at Forbe’s Top Entrepreneurs 2023 Forum and chosen as the People’s Choice by KPMG. The platform currently offers more than 25,000 products, serving Kuwait border-to-border. It offers an elevated, seamless experience thanks to its systemic and precisely controlled full cycle of logistics - from procurement to last-mile delivery. The first of Raha’s concepts to be launched, it now serves as the archetype for the company’s ambitious growth strategy.
Concluding his statement, Al-Tunaib said: “We plan to continue to leverage our strong technology and logistics base to help push the boundaries of e-commerce across sectors and markets as a technology enabler. There are truly no limits to what we can do with data, automation and system integration.”
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