Investing in Mrsool: Fueling the On-Demand Economy in MENA

We are leading, along with Raed Ventures, a multimillion-dollar investment round in Mrsool — the leading Saudi on-demand delivery service. Our latest portfolio company is exactly the type of partner we like: incredibly ambitious, innovative, and attuned to the needs of the region.  

Mrsool is a service where couriers can purchase products on behalf of a consumer from any shop in the city, and then instantly deliver them. The company’s huge potential hinges on the growing consumer demand for fast delivery services and a user experience that takes into consideration local payment preference. In our view, Mrsool is truly unique in what it does. It processed more than SAR 1 billion (approx. $ 270 million) in transactions in 2018, attaining a total of 4 million registered users at the end of the year.

With the growing adoption of digital commerce, consumers are fast becoming accustomed to the convenience of same-day, almost instantaneous, deliveries. A leading category of goods that benefit from instant-delivery is food. Of the $97 billion global food delivery market, 47% of orders are estimated to have originated online in 2018.

We believe this trend holds in MENA and is even amplified by the high mobile penetration rates in markets like Saudi and the UAE, and the sizable offline-to-online movement of demand in that category.

Two things stood out when we first started talking to Mrsool’s founders:  firstly, the depth of their product insight was impressive, and this is reflected in the design of an original user experience solving a common consumer need. Secondly, Mrsool’s business model has been validated by high rates of organic growth they have experienced over the past couple of years.

Mrsool was started in 2015 by founders Ayman Al Sanad and Naif Al Samri. Ayman, as CEO, has a background in software engineering. In 2009, he was the first to localize the android operating system in Arabic -- two years before official Arabic language support in the mobile operating system. Naif, as COO, has a background in architectural engineering and has been handling operations scaling in the bootstrapped company.

Raed Ventures was a co-lead investor in this fundraise. Saudi angel investor Mazen Al Jubeir also joined the round.