E-commerce site Wadi.com Co-Founded by a Pakistani Raises $67M Funding

Wadi.com offers 150,000 products among 40 categories and 3,000 brands from around the world.

GCC based e-commerce platform Wadi.com, operated by Dubai-based Wadi International General Trading LLP, has raised $67 million (around AED 246 million) in Series A round of funding led by the Saudi based Al Tayyar Travel Group.

Wadi.com in particular is eager to be a market leader. Launched in 2015, Wadi.com is part of the Middle East Internet Group (MEIG), a joint venture between Rocket Internet and South Africa telecom provider MTN. It currently operates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, offering an assortment of more than 150,000 products from “more than 3,000 local and international brands including Apple, Samsung, Sony, Lacoste, Victoria’s Secret, Nike and Hugo Boss. The products range from watches from Hugo Boss to electronics from Apple and Samsung to motor and self-balancing scooters.

“Wadi.com has developed in an impressive way. The funding will enable us to grow further within the region and deliver exceptional service to our customers,” said Pratik Gupta, co-founder and managing director of Wadi.com. “We are proud of having raised the largest funding in tech history of the Middle East.”

“Wadi.com has a strong proven capability to adapt to the market and build a huge portfolio of products. We are confident about seeing the company growing further, especially with the cargo and logistics support our group will be offering,” said Abdullah Bin Nasser Al Dawood, managing director and CEO of the Al Tayyar Travel Group.

Series A Round Funding Investors

  • Al Tayyar Travel Group Holding Company is a Saudi joint-stock company and has invested in operations across tourist destinations such as Saudi Arabia, nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Malaysia, the United Kingdom and Canada.
  • The Middle East Internet Group (MEIG), a joint venture of Rocket Internet and MTN, is the leading Internet platform in the Middle East and supports some of the most vibrant Internet companies in the region. Founded in 2013, MEIG’s mission is to accelerate the growth and success of the Internet economy throughout the Middle East. MEIG’s network currently consists of Wadi.com, Helpling.com, Vaniday.com, Easytaxi, Lamudi.com, and Carmudi.com.

While the competition is strong, Wadi’s co-founders aim to be the leading online store for everything in the Middle East by concentrating on creating experiential transactions by offering 24-hour deliveries, an unbeatable customer experience and increased time on returns. Ex McKinsey employee and COO of Wadi, Kanwal Sarfraz, said “we felt there was a clear need for a big player like Wadi.com in the broader online retail segment. KSA and UAE are demanding markets and I think that this is a good time to meet those demands with superior service and a great fulfillment platform. Wadi’s core strength is its very talented and passionate team – we strongly believe that we have what it takes to set a new standard for this market.”

Wadi.com Founding Team

A GCC based e-commerce platform Wadi.com is co-founded by LUMS Pakistan alumna Kanwal Sarfraz former McKinsey consultant with stints at Unilever and Gallup in Pakistan, Pratik Gupta, formerly of Jabong’s founding team and Ankit Wadha, also an ex-McKinsey consultant who served clients in the Middle East.

Kanwal Sarfaraz, Co-Founder & COO

Kanwal, who studied BSc Economics with distinction from LUMS Pakistan, has been involved in entrepreneurial activities since her college days. She has completed her MPhil in Economics from the University of Cambridge in 2010, where she was awarded a Commonwealth and Noon Shared Scholarship.

As one of the Co-founders and the Chief Operating Officer of Wadi,com, Kanwal is responsible for all support functions (HR and talent acquisition, finance and business intelligence, legal and corporate), investor relations as well as broad cross-functional strategic projects (strategy and special projects). She owns the Wadi.com business plan and plays a big role in helping functional teams make the right strategic choices to ensure that the plans are met.

Prior to Wadi.com, Kanwal worked at McKinsey and Company, Dubai where she served leading GCC and Pakistani enterprises on topics of strategy and operations. She has also worked with Unilever and Gallup Pakistan and as a Teaching Assistant at LUMS Pakistan.