Saudi-based Restaurant Management Startup Raises $4m

A restaurant management startup in Saudi Arabia has raised a $4m Series A investment as the Kingdom sees signs of life for new small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Foodics, which is a Saudi-based company, offers an all-in-one iPad-based point of sale and restaurant management system. Foodics raised its venture funding from Saudi VC firms Raed Venture and Riyadh Taqnia Fund, according to a report in Arabian Business, which noted┬áthe new investors will help Foodics “consolidate its growth in the Middle East market, with an eye on opening new markets in Europe.”

The startup employs 52 people working from its offices in Riyadh, Jeddah, Khobar and Dubai, and is currently used by over 600 food and beverage brands in the Middle East.

The time for startups to rise in Saudi Arabia is now, as the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 hopes to wean the country off of oil dependence and into a more diversified economy. Technology development is in focus for Saudi Arabia as it moves forward with its ambitious Vision 2030 plan for economic growth. Among that plan’s goals is to increase SME contribution to GDP from 20% to 35% and to lower the rate of unemployment in the Kingdom.

Saudi Arabia recently established a new SME authority in the Kingdom, headed by a Governor, Ghassan Al-Sulaiman, which “plans to review laws and regulations thoroughly, remove obstacles, facilitate access to funding, and enable youth and entrepreneurs to market their ideas and products. At the same time, we will establish additional new business incubators, specialized training institutions and venture capital funds. These will aid entrepreneurs in developing their skills and networks. We will also support SMEs in marketing and help export their products and services, by leveraging e-commerce and collaborating with international stakeholders.”