Syarah, a Riyadh located company, is setting up a new market for selling and buying vehicles in Saudi Arabia and recently finished their Series A funding round with $2 million mainly from Middle Eastern venture capitalist businesses Raed Ventures, BECO Capital, and Vision ventures. This concludes Syarah's second funding round whose first round garnered $600,000 from BECO Capital and Raed Ventures in 2016, after being started in 2015 by Fayez Alanazi and Salah Shared.
Aiming to utilize the new funding to accelerate the platform’s expansion and growth, Syarah co-founder and CEO Salah Sharef says that the startup was launched with the intention of “empowering consumers with online tools to help them to search and find the car that they seek, empowering them to make informed decisions in the car buying process, and making the car buying process as smooth and transparent as possible.” In addition to merely listing cars, Syarah offers value-added services to help ease the process of buying cars- including providing Mojaz (car history reports), and also facilitating vehicle financing for interested buyers.
Commenting on why the entrepreneurs decided to launch Syarah in an offline and fragmented Saudi Arabian automotive market, Sharef says the Kingdom perhaps has the biggest car market in the Middle East in terms of volume of cars sold every year. “So, for an online car marketplace, it made sense to go after the biggest market in the region, especially considering that there was no dominant online cars vertical in the country yet,” says the entrepreneur. “I already had more than seven years of experience doing [working on] an online classifieds marketplace in MENA, mainly through my first startup, OpenSooq,” he says, talking about his personal journey with Syarah. “So, it made sense to build upon previous experience in online marketplaces, and move on towards doing a cars vertical marketplace, where there is still a big need in the region, given that this area still has not been tackled yet.”
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