Saudi mobile grocer Nana Direct raises $6.6m for expansion

Middle East Venture Partners and Impact46 have co-led an investment round in Saudi-based Nana Direct
Saudi mobile grocer Nana Direct raises $6.6m for expansion
By Sam Bridge
Tue 20 Aug 2019 01:40 PM

Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Impact46 have co-led an investment round in Saudi-based Nana Direct, an online grocery platform serving 13 cities across the kingdom.

Other investors in the round, which raised $6.6 million, included Watar Partners, Saudi Venture Capital (SVC) Company and Wamda Capital, a statement said.

Nana, a mobile-only company, said it aiming to transform the traditional supermarket experience and gain traction all over the Gulf kingdom.

It added that it is in advanced stages of onboarding new stores and supermarkets to offer greater availability to users. It will use the new capital to accelerate its growth plans, continue to build its team and further develop vendor relations.

“Groceries form a significant fraction of a Saudi family’s monthly expenditure and I believed the experience they get in return could be enhanced manifold. All around MENA more and more offline retail verticals from electronics to food were moving online, and this is what led me to Nana, a supermarket in your mobile phone,” said Sami Alhelwah, founder and CEO of Nana Direct.

He said the platform has grown three-fold in turnover in the past year and is well on its way to better that in 2019.

“Our stores and supermarkets are the real champions. They shared the vision we had and have been so forthcoming throughout the integration cycle. It just goes to show that businesses, small and large, are welcoming technological innovation and that bodes well for all of us,” Sami added.

“At MEVP, we like to back strong founders with exceptional technical capabilities, who are building truly differentiated products; and that is exactly what we saw in Nana. What the Nana team does very well, is offer a large selection of products, delivered seamlessly; and this is executed on the back of very robust tech,” said Walid Mansour, partner and chief investment officer at MEVP.

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