Funding underlines the significance of digital commerce transformation taking place regionally.
Zbooni, a growing digital commerce enabler for SMEs, has announced it has raised $5million in ‘Series A’ funding. The investment, led by a London-based fund, will be used to expand the Zbooni team across its current core markets of United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The company has already brought in key hires across its product development, data analytics, marketing and customer success divisions, as it continues to support a growing number of businesses across the region.
Speaking about the landmark investment, Zbooni CEO and co-founder Ramy Assaf, said: “Zbooni is on a mission to help provide access to digital commerce tools, ultimately supporting our merchants to start, run and grow their business. While we wish to keep the investor undisclosed, their reputation and track record speaks for itself, they have previously invested in some of the most successful emerging market growth stories - operating a fund of well over $1billion in assets under management. Through this support, Zbooni will invest in people to develop even better products for our merchants and enhance the customer experience with best-in-class technology.”
The funding into Zbooni follows the news that over $1bn was invested into MENA-based start-ups in 2020, according to MAGNiTT’s 2021 Emerging Venture Markets Report. This amount was a 13 percent increase on 2019.
Since inception in 2017, Zbooni has demonstrated perpetual growth, as it supports an increasingly buoyant MENA ecosystem for entrepreneurs. The company provides services for a wide variety of businesses, with tools including invoicing technology, payment enablement, digital store creation and customer management support. At the turn of the year, Zbooni announced it had recorded rapid acceleration in 2020, including 600% in customer growth. As of January 2021, Zbooni supports thousands of merchants, transacting tens of millions of dirhams every month and to-date has allowed its merchants to serve more than 150,000 end-customers.
The platform, which started out as a chat commerce venture enabling payments via WhatsApp, has spent the past 12 months diversifying its product line to provide a full suite of business support and enablement tools. This strategic development has increased the core number of merchants using Zbooni, while also increasing retention of merchants across all geographic markets.
Zbooni was originally founded in Dubai in 2017. Its name means ‘My Customer’ in Arabic, as it enables merchants to easily start, run and grow their businesses online, providing their customers with enhanced experiences. Zbooni provides a range of useful business-focused services, such as mobile invoicing and payment solutions, digital storefronts in its marketplace, data insights, automated sales tracking and invoicing.
The company was incubated at Facebook, the world’s largest social media network, and is backed by regional and international organisations, including Chalhoub Group, Middle East Venture Partners and B&Y Venture Capital.