Saudi HRtech firm raises $30 million, eyes expansion

by MMC
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CAIRO: The Saudi startup ecosystem continues to thrive thanks to government efforts to support the sectors and growing investor interest in different sectors.

Jisr, one of Saudi Arabia’s HR technology companies, recently concluded its Series A funding round of SR112 million ($30 million), aiming to delve deeper into various sectors.

Described as the largest Series A financing in the software-as-a-service space in the Middle East, the funding was led by Saudi firm Merak Capital.

Established in 2016 by Mohammed Al-Johi, Jisr claims to be the pioneering human resource management platform in Saudi Arabia, serving a customer base of over 3,000 people across approximately 16 sectors.

In an interview with Arab News, Al-Johi explained how this capital injection seeks to amplify the company’s operational prowess and growth ambitions.

The entrepreneur aims to mobilize the funds to strengthen Jisr’s existing operations and venture into synergistic verticals.

Data released by the Federation of Saudi Chambers reveals a robust HR market in the Kingdom, valued at over SR6 billion.

HIGHLIGHTS

Global data firm Statista forecasts that the software-as-a-service market in Saudi Arabia will grow at an annual rate of 5.03% from 2023, reaching $519 million by 2028, up from $406 million this year. year.

“We are redefining the scope of HR software, moving from just HR information system software to a suite of products designed for employees,” said Al-Johi.

“With this investment, we will accelerate the achievement of our mission of creating an HR ecosystem for small and medium-sized businesses in the region. This will help us serve more customers and improve their productivity when it comes to manage their staff,” Al-Johi said. .

“Through Merak’s investment in Jisr, our goal is to advance the modern HR technology system. We aim to achieve this by developing products that improve all aspects of HR operations, from recruitment and management to payroll processing, all seamlessly integrated with various platforms,” he added.

Abdullah Al-Tamimi, Partner and CEO of Merak Capital, shared his vision for a more harmonized market landscape.

“Integrations should continue to play a central role in the ecosystem,” Al-Tamimi said, reinforcing Al-Johi’s mission to create a more complete product.

“The more integrated the solution, the more powerful it will be to serve businesses and their needs, whether they are small and medium-sized businesses or large enterprises,” he added.

We are redefining the scope of HR software, moving from simple HR information system software to a suite of products built around employees.

Mohammed Al-Johi, founder and CEO of Jisr

Al-Tamimi then explained Jisr’s position in the Saudi market, highlighting the company’s significant potential.

“Jisr is currently the leading player in the market and we believe it will maintain this leading role,” Al-Tamimi said.

“As a pioneer, Jisr will need to be at the forefront of the latest market offerings and move the wheel of innovation forward,” he added.

The company currently offers innovative solutions to improve the management of human resources in companies. These solutions include attendance tracking, adaptable payroll integrations, business travel coordination, and performance analysis tools.

Commenting on Jisr’s future plans, Al-Tamimi said the company plans to introduce additional fintech solutions.

He said: “We expect more fintech solutions from the enterprise side and a greater role from established financial institutions in helping SMEs through their HR systems and peripheral tools. »

Al-Johi also revealed his company’s future plans, stating that other products and services are already in the works.

“We started in 2016 serving very small businesses and covering only the operational side of human capital. Since then, we have expanded to serve the mid-market and create products to digitize the entire HR cycle. We are launching our Jisr applicant tracking system and will launch three more products next year,” said Al-Johi.

Merak intends to continue investing in new SaaS verticals, particularly in core business-to-business solutions that are critical to running businesses.

Abdullah Al-Tamimi, Partner and CEO of Merak Capital

Building on its established customer base, Jisr is poised to further transform the HR landscape, targeting significant growth in 2024.

Since its inception, the company has garnered 350,000 employee registrations, with more registrations expected in the coming year.

“In recent years, we have recorded annual growth of more than 150 percent and our platform is used by more than 350,000 employees. Our next goal is to have 1 million registered employees,” Al-Johi said.

The company’s goal to nearly triple its user base coincides with significant growth in the Kingdom’s SaaS market.

Global data firm Statista forecasts that the software-as-a-service market in Saudi Arabia will grow at an annual rate of 5.03% from 2023, reaching $519 million by 2028, up from $406 million this year. year.

Additionally, business software and IT solutions was one of the most funded sectors in Saudi Arabia in 2022, raising $104 million across 19 deals.

Additionally, Merak Capital is one of the leading Saudi investors in SaaS solutions. Al-Tamimi said the company plans to scale up its operations even further.

“With several SaaS companies in our portfolio, we have developed market expertise on how SaaS platforms are evolving in the region, and specifically in Saudi Arabia,” he said.

“Merak intends to continue investing in new and expanded SaaS verticals, particularly in core business-to-business solutions that are critical to running businesses, with a focus on locally integrated products that can compete at both local incumbents and new international entrants. ” he added.

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