Tiger Global Management LLC and South Africa’s Naspers Ltd. boosted their investments in Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com during the company’s latest fundraising round.
Souq.com secured $275 million from investors also including Standard Chartered Private Equity, International Finance Corp., and Ballie Gifford, according to a statement from the company. New York-based boutique Allen & Co. LLC advised Souq.com on the deal, according to the statement. The company’s business model is similar to that of Amazon.com Inc.
Souq.com had been seeking to raise up to $300 million from investors in a deal that would value the business at about $1 billion, people familiar with the matter said in April. Closing this funding makes Souq.com the highest valued Internet company in the Middle East, Standard Chartered said in a separate statement confirming its $50 million equity investment in Souq.com. Both Tiger and Naspers have participated in earlier fundraising rounds by Souq.com, with Naspers investing $75 million in the company in March 2014.
“The funding will be used to drive further growth by investing in technology, scaling our marketplace operations, launching new product categories and recruiting the best talent,” Chief Executive Officer Ronaldo Mouchawar said. “The e-commerce market in the Middle East is growing very fast and is expected to reach $20 billion this year.”
Souq.com will consider selling shares to the public in the future, Mouchawar said today by phone from Dubai. The latest funding round will be sufficient to cover the company’s investment plans over the “medium-term,” Mouchawar said.