|By Arabian Post Staff| IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the IFC Asset Management Company are investing $27 million in Souq, the largest e-commerce platform in the Middle East and North Africa. The investment will support the company’s growth, boost e-commerce in the region, and help create jobs and drive innovation.
The investment will help Souq diversify its offerings and enhance its logistics and payment infrastructure, helping the company reach more customers and support local suppliers. The expansion is expected to generate over 1,700 direct high-skilled jobs in logistics, IT services, and marketing over the next five years.
Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO of Souq said: “This investment will help take Souq to the next level. Our aim is to continue to drive innovation across the region, expand into new markets and improve our supply chain so we can offer better and more affordable quality products to our customers.”
MENA is one of the fastest growing e-commerce markets in the world, with a young population and increasing internet and smart phone penetration. The consumer internet market, which has a population of 404 million, currently has a GDP of $3 trillion and 110 million internet users, comparing well with other large markets.
“Souq is a prime example of the massive potential the region holds for tech companies and e-commerce. We hope that with this investment, we continue to demonstrate the viability of this growing area in the region,” Mouayed Makhlouf, IFC Director for the Middle East and North Africa.
The investment is part of IFC’s broader strategy to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in MENA, with an emphasis on the burgeoning ICT sector, and create more jobs, especially for women and young people. In February, IFC invested $10 million in a venture fund created by Wamda Capital to provide funding to tech entrepreneurs in MENA.