Wed. Feb 1st, 2023

Manafa raises $28m in Series A funding to fuel its growth

RIYADH: Manafa Capital, the first authorized crowdfunding platform in Saudi Arabia, announced the closing of its Series A round of SR106 million ($28 million) on Wednesday, led by Riyadh-based venture capital firm STV and Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Arabian Oil Co. 

Founded in 2018, the company provides debt and equity financing to small and medium enterprises through a crowdfunding model that hosts institutional and individual investors scouting for SME funding opportunities. 

Licensed by the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Market Authority, the company has funded more than 180 SMEs and facilitated SR1.5 billion through its platforms, reaching out to over 100,000 retail and institutional investors. 

“Manafa is planning to launch a new set of products that tackle quick access to financing and capital and empowers SMEs to fuel their growth,” said Abdulaziz Al-Adwani, founder and CEO of Manafa Capital, in a press statement. 

Since its inception, the company has been focused on attracting Saudi talent that helped build a sophisticated technical infrastructure that has enabled the financing of SMEs in less than 48 hours through its investors network, Al-Adwani added. 

Manafa plans to fuel its growth in the Kingdom by expanding its offering through launching several products and financing solutions across untapped sectors. It also plans to double the number of investors keen on investing in previously inaccessible alternative asset classes. 

“The idea of Manafa started with the launch of the Financial Sector Development Program as one of the Vision 2030 realization programs. Today, and within a short period, we were able to transform one of the vision’s goals into a reality,” said Amr Murad, co-founder and chairman of Manafa Capital. 

The funding assumes significance as there is a financing gap that SMEs have been facing due to the challenges in obtaining from traditional banks. It is evident in the share of SMEs in the total commercial financing in the Kingdom, amounting to 8.4 percent, which is aimed to be increased to 20 percent under the Vision 2030 plan. 

“We are delighted to have partnered with this pioneering team in their journey to disrupt the financial sector and enable investors to tap into a new asset class,” said venture capital firm STV in the press statement. 

Wa’ed Ventures added: “Manafa is not only addressing a key gap in the market but is providing an innovative and disruptive fintech solution and a much-needed support line for SMEs across the Kingdom.” 

SOURCE https://www.arabnews.com/node/2223276/business-economy

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