Dubai-based e-commerce site Souq.com announced that it has raised an additional $75 million funding from its existing investor, South African media group Naspers Limited.
This round of funding brings the total amount raised by Souq.com to $150 million (Dhs551 million), the largest amount raised by any internet-based business in the region, Souq said in a statement.
Started in 2005, Souq.com currently registers 23 million visits per month on its website, and has 6.2 million registered users. The website features over 400,000 products from international and local brands in 15 varied categories, ranging from electronic gadgets to baby diapers.
The site, which received its initial round of funding from Naspers in October 2012, said it has grown more than 10 fold in the past two years. Other investors in Souq include US-based Tiger Global and Jabbar Internet Group.
Ronaldo Mouchawar, co-founder and CEO, Souq.com, said: “We plan to use the funds to deepen our technology investment. We will focus on innovation to provide our customers with a unique and advanced mobile experience, a personalised user experience, and unprecedented delivery and customer service quality.
“We will also invest in our talent pool to help build these world-class standards.”
According to a recent PayPal study, the e-commerce industry in the MENA region is predicted to reach $15 billion by 2015, of which 10 per cent is expected to come from mobile transactions.
Digital start-ups in the UAE have already begun to attract strong investor interest. Last week, Dubai-based digital media company Diwanee, which manages a number of women-centric Arabic websites in the region, announced that it had secured an investment worth $5 billion from French digital content firm Webedia. Others like app-firm Wally and e-commerce site Cobone have also received big investments in the last couple of years.