Manafa, the leading debt and Investment company, announced the closing of its Series A round of SAR 106 million (US$28 million) led by STV and Wa’ed Ventures, the venture capital arm of Saudi Aramco.
The company was founded in 2018 by Abdulaziz Al-Adwani to provide financial products tailored to fulfil the needs of SMEs in various sectors by offering debt and equity financing based on a crowdfunding model, which allows institutional investors like financial institutions and investment funds or Individual Investors to access SMEs financing opportunities through debt and equity securities. The platforms are licensed by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA).
As the growth of SMEs accelerates in Saudi Arabia, so do their financial needs. Manafa aims to bridge the financing gaps for SMEs by opening the opportunity to a larger segment of local retail and institutional investors to invest in. To date, Manafa has funded more than 180 SMEs, with total funding of more than SAR 1.5 Billion through its platforms with the participation of more than 100,000 retail and institutional investors.
Manafa plans to turbocharge its growth in the Kingdom, and expand its offering with the launch of several products and financing solutions across untapped sectors; in addition to doubling the number of investors who are provided the opportunity to invest in previously-inaccessible alternative asset classes.
Abdulaziz Al-Adwani, Founder and CEO of Manafa Capital, commented on this round of investment, saying: “At Manafa and since its establishment, we were focused on attracting Saudi competent talents that helped in building a sophisticated technical infrastructure, that has enabled the financing of SMEs in less than 48 hours through a network of more than a hundred thousand investors. Manafa is planning to launch a new set of products that tackles the quick access to financing and capital and empowers SMEs to fuel their growth.”
Eng. Amr Murad, Co-Founder and Chairman of Manafa, added: “The idea of Manafa started with the launch of the Financial Sector Development Program as one of the Vision 2030 realization programs. Today, and within a short period, we were able to transform one of the vision’s goals into a reality that efficiently contributes to the providing of financing, investment and savings solutions through solid, effective and reliable technology-enabled business models, and we aim – with the completion of this round – to work with our partners to increase the impact of Manafa products and solutions on the growth of private sector companies and enhance the empowerment of financial planning for individuals”.
STV commented: “As venture capital investors, we are well aware of the financing gap that SMEs are facing, and the challenges to obtaining financing from traditional banking. This is evident in the share of SMEs from the total commercial financing in the kingdom amounting to 8.4٪ today, which is aimed to be increased to 20% under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Led by Abdulaziz AlAdwani and Eng. Amr Murad, Manafa has formed an empowered national team capable of deeply understanding the financing needs across various sectors, then build tailored products that answer those needs in a record time. We are delighted to have partnered with this pioneering team in their journey to disrupt the financial sector and enable investors to tap into a new asset class.”
Wa’ed Ventures added: “Under the expert leadership of Abdulaziz AlAdwani and Eng. Amr Murad, Manafa is not only addressing a key gap in the market, but is providing an innovative and disruptive fintech solution and a much needed support line for SMEs across the Kingdom. We look forward to our partnership with the Manafa team which we are confident will continue to fuel greater financial stimulus by broadening the concept of crowdfunding in support of advancing the regional startup ecosystem.”