MENA’s First “Build Now Pay Later” Solution Secures $9.4m in Seed Funding

Buildnow - MENA’s first “Build Now Pay Later” solution - has raised $9.4m in seed funding. The round was a mix of Equity ($6.5m) and Debt ($2.9m), and was co-led by Raed Ventures and Khwarizmi Ventures. The round also saw participation by international VC’s and key local angels including Abdulla Elyas (Co-Founder of Careem).

Buildnow was launched by Hisham Al Saleh, Rahat Dewan & Abdulla Sheikh in April 2022. The diverse team comes with backgrounds spanning banking, fintech & construction. Abdulla first experienced the hindrance of business and growth, for SMEs like his, due to limited ability of suppliers to provide credit at his time in construction.

Said Abdulla, CEO, “annually $42 billion worth of goods are traded within the construction supply chain in Saudi Arabia alone. Suppliers of goods can only offer limited credit - both in amount and duration - to buyers. Credit is extended based on relationships rather than an objective assessment of risk. Given that the SMEs purchasing these materials only get paid much later, this results in a cash crunch and constrains their ability to grow.”

Using its credit management platform and extensive supply chain network, Buildnow digitally captures data points such as financials, legal standing and market reputation of the buyer to better assess credit risk. This enables Buildnow to supply materials on credit terms tailored for the buyer while paying cash upfront to the SME suppliers.

The three key benefits for users of the platform are:

  • Speed - customers can acquire materials much more quickly, and in bulk, speeding up their delivery of goods and services
  • Ease - everything is done digitally, which greatly facilitates the ease of doing business in these traditional sectors
  • Flexibility - buyers of raw materials can purchase from a much expanded network of suppliers, and on credit terms that suit their businesses

Abdulaziz AlTurki, Managing Partner at Khwarizmi Ventures says “Buildnow is led by passionate and smart founders in an unattractive, massive, and fragmented sector. The heart of our seed-stage investment thesis is believing in the combination of bright and ambitious founders, along with a large underserved market. We are confident that, with their diverse and relevant backgrounds, the team at Buildnow is well positioned to capture this opportunity, while accelerating the growth of construction and building materials SMEs.”

Saed Nashef, Founding Partner at Raed ventures stated, “Investing in Buildnow was a decision driven by our confidence in the team’s ability to address a critical market inefficiency. Buildnow’s offering doesn’t just facilitate transactions; it in fact empowers SMEs within the construction industry, and industry that’s undergoing a period of massive expansion in the Kingdom, and represents a cornerstone of Vision 2030. While they operate one of the fastest-scaling business in the region, their success means thousands of SMEs can be more productive and have more stability in their business. This can impact the actual realization of the vision 2030’s mega projects building the new Saudi Arabia.”

Buildnow has already supplied over 50,000 tonnes of raw materials, facilitating business between 250+ SMEs. Having grown 6X in 2023 alone, Buildnow is setting their sights on explosive growth. With the new funding, Buildnow are preparing to enable the entire construction SME supply chain to capture otherwise lost opportunities and supercharge their growth. For this mission, they are looking for world-class talent to join their team and take Buildnow to new heights.