Saudi food delivery firm Jahez has hired HSBC Holdings Plc’s local unit to help manage what could be the first listing by a tech startup in the Kingdom.
Jahez International Company for Information Technology picked HSBC Saudi Arabia as the sole financial adviser and global coordinator for its potential IPO on Nomu, the Saudi stock exchange’s secondary market, which imposes lighter listing requirements to encourage smaller businesses and startups to raise equity.
For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
Founded in 2016, the homegrown firm serves around 2 million customers in the kingdom, and processed about 20 million restaurant orders through its app in 2020, it said on Monday, without disclosing details about its potential valuation. It closed a $36.5 million funding round last year.
“We will continue to expand our platform to tap into new growth opportunities offered by rapid, technology-enabled changes in consumer behavior, both in Saudi Arabia and in the wider region, said Ghassab Al Mandeel, chief executive officer at Jahez.
Food delivery companies have been flooded with cash from investors betting the pandemic brought a permanent shift in shopper habits.
Startups including Turkish retail delivery app Getir and Berlin-based grocery delivery app Gorillas have rapidly hit billion-dollar valuations. In the U.K., Deliveroo raised 1.5 billion pounds ($2.1 billion) in its listing March 31 but then saw its shares plunge more than 30 percent in their debut.
Jahez is the biggest locally owned player in the kingdom, competing with the likes of Uber Technologies Inc.-owned Careem Now and Delivery Hero SE-backed Hunger Station and Talabat. Jahez has also been expanding in other areas such as last-mile logistics and cloud kitchens.
The IPO could add to a string of listings in Saudi Arabia, where companies are taking advantage of investors’ demand for new offerings and as state entities look to raise money to bankroll efforts to diversify the economy.
Saudi grocery delivery app Nana also raised $18 million last year, tapping investors including venture capital fund STV and Middle East Venture Partners to expand across the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia’s consumer spending is on the mend, with its non-oil economy -- the engine of job creation -- rebounding in the first quarter to pre-pandemic levels following a recession.
Jahez said “an improving Saudi economy and the resulting rise in employment and disposable income” will fuel further food and e-commerce spending.
Saudi central bank licenses two more fintech companies to provide payment services
Checkout.com leads $110million round for Saudi ‘buy now pay later’ startup Tamara
Saudi Arabia’s FII signs MoU with Amundi focusing on environmental research
Saudi startup competition attracts more than 500 applications, enters final stagesA startup competition in Saudi Arabia -- the MITEF Saudi Startup Competition -- which received more than 500 applications, is entering the final ... Technology
Saudi Arabia announces six startups to compete in Entrepreneurship World Cup finalsSaudi Arabia has announced the winners of the National Finals of the Entrepreneurship World Cup in the Kingdom, where six Saudi startups were selected ... Economy
Saudi Arabia is a market that startups ‘really want to focus on:’ Jack SelbyReports
Checkout.com leads $110million round for Saudi ‘buy now pay later’ startup TamaraCheckout.com is leading a $110 million funding round for Saudi Arabia-based startup Tamara in one of the Middle East’s largest-ever startup ... Economy