Saudi Arabia-based Qawafel raises $3m funding round
Qawafel in Saudi Arabia, a B2B marketplace facilitating exchanges between buyers and suppliers of perishable food products across the Kingdom, has closed its first investment round (Seed) of $3 million, co-led by AlSayed Group and Khwarizmi Ventures, in addition to a number of angel investors.
Qawafel is a B2B technology company connecting suppliers with various buyers and outlets in the confectionery and chilled goods market. It provides integrated technical solutions aimed at improving the fragmented wholesale market through a comprehensive B2B platform and digital services, providing a seamless user experience for customers and suppliers when managing operations. This in turn helps to promote local production and increase the efficiency of market supply chains through seamless last mile delivery and payment collection.
Based in Riyadh, Qawafel started its confectionery business in the last quarter of 2020 by co-founders Turki AlAyyad (CEO), Walid Al-Ghobain (Chief Partnership Officer) and Qays Bahurmuz (Chief Product & Technology Officer ). Today, Qawafel serves over 5,000 outlets in over 188 cities and towns in Saudi Arabia and has maintained a sales growth rate of 30% per month; a testament to unfailing customer experience and trust.
Mr. Turki AlAyyad, CEO of Qawafel, commented in this regard saying, “Qawafel started in the confectionery and chocolate market, where sales are estimated at 5 billion Saudi riyals per year, and acquired about 1 % of said market in a short period of 500 tons of chocolate were transformed and circulated in the cities of the Kingdom. Our goal is to grow vertically in the confectionery industry in general, where annual sales exceed 20 billion Saudi Riyals.
Qawafel provides a “market data” service which aims to help and support small factories in the process of creating and innovating new products. The company has successfully activated more than 300 local factories, which has helped to increase the average order rate in these factories. Qawafel plans to use the financing in the operation and growth of its business, R&D to improve and create new products and services, as well as to enter new sectors and markets by the end of 2022, such as the frozen food industry.
“Qawafel’s vision is to provide the technical and logistical solutions needed to move the wholesale chilled food market to e-commerce, and to enable small family businesses and store owners to grow and be present in many In achieving this, Qawafel aims to support locally produced products and help improve aspects related to national food security,” added Turki AlAyyad.
Abdulaziz Al-Turki, Managing Partner at Khwarizmi Ventures, added: “The HoReCa space is showing steady growth and high activity. Turki and the Qawafel team are working hard to defragment the wholesale confectionery market, make supply chain management easier for buyers and suppliers, and create significant positive local impact.