Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and Impact46 have co-led an investment in KSA-based Nana Direct, an online grocery platform serving 13 cities over the Kingdom. Other investors include Watar Partners, Saudi Venture Capital (SVC) Company, Wamda Capital and the Alzamil family.
Nana has constructed a technology suite that flawlessly coalesces grocery customers, in-store pickers, Supermarkets and last-mile delivery fleet. The mobile-only company is transforming the traditional supermarket experience and gaining traction all over the KSA.
“Having built several enterprise products in the past, I wanted to tackle a core consumer challenge and was curious to build technologies to resolve it. 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 & CEO of Nana Direct.
Nana prides itself as a completely home-grown start-up having envisioned and conveyed a revamped grocery experience through technologies built completely in-house. This has allowed Nana to act with nimbleness in times of integration with stores and supermarkets. The platform has grown 3X in turnover in the past year and is well on its way to better it 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 demonstrates that businesses, small and large, are welcoming technological innovation and that bodes well for all of us,” Sami included.
The deal also denotes the debut investment for the partnership between MEVP and Impact46.
“At MEVP, we like to back strong founders with extraordinary specialized capacities, who are building genuinely differentiated products; and that is actually 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,” noted Walid Mansour, Partner and Chief Investment Officer (CIO) at MEVP. “I am equally excited for our partnership with Impact46. Together, it is our endeavor to unearth and back, in all possible ways, the next generation of tech and internet companies in the Kingdom.”
For Saudi Venture Capital Company (SVC) this is an exciting investment in accordance with their overall objective. Dr. Nabeel Koshak, CEO of SVC said: “Our goal is to minimize current equity financing gaps for startups in Saudi Arabia by co-investing in different sectors. We have faith in startups such as Nana Direct with growth potential. They have a promising team and we believe they can take online grocery to the next level.”
Nana 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.