Jahez's phenomenal growth
Welcome to the third Termsheet.
I’ve missed writing. It has been almost two years since I wrote the last Termsheet. When I started this newsletter, I was still working on MENAbytes. I wanted to use Termsheet to organize my thoughts and talk about things that wouldn’t make it to MENAbytes.
But after two issues that did pretty well and helped me earn over a thousand subscribers, I just stopped writing it. A lot of things had changed. I lost someone very close to me to Covid. My wife and I were blessed with our first child, Nayel.
With everything that was going on, I didn’t have the bandwidth to write on both MENAbytes and Termsheet. So even after a very good start, Termsheet went into hibernation.
A few months later, I left MENAbytes and co-founded Flare with Atif to build a video-first ecommerce marketplace for Pakistan. Think TikTok meets Amazon. We validated the idea, raised some money, built a great team that helped us build an excellent product and launch it. In the process, we made a lot of mistakes and realized very quickly that our timing couldn’t have been worse. The capital and venture markets had completely changed and the money we would’ve needed to continue to fund it was not there. So we decided to change our direction and are now focusing on ecommerce enablement, within Shopify’s ecosystem.
(If you run a Shopify store, I’d love to have a quick conversation to understand your challenges and learn from your insights. Please book a time here or reach out on LinkedIn or Twitter.)
Since leaving MENAbytes almost a year ago, I had hardly written anything (for people outside Flare).
So I’ve been missing writing but more importantly, I’ve lost confidence (as a writer). To build writing as a habit again, I’ve decided to resume Termsheet. I am not sure about the format, frequency, and other details. But I want to do it to share my thoughts, insights, learnings (at Flare), and maybe even news.
Here’s the new Termsheet.
Quick insight: Jahez’s phenomenal growth
Jahez, the Saudi food delivery platform, which started in 2016 and went public earlier this year, has grown its GMV by 8x and revenue by close to 10x, in the last four years.
It is on track to do $1 billion in annual GMV this year. The Riyadh-headquartered company announced its half-year results earlier this week. The GMV for H1 2022 has grown 136 percent year-over-year to $530 million and revenue by almost 160 percent (YoY) to $206 million.
(Fyi: A big part of Jahez’s revenue comes from delivery fee, which is not part of their GMV. They use another metric, GOV (Gross Order Value) to report GMV plus tax plus Delivery Fee plus Tax on Delivery Fee.)
Jahez’s average order value has seen a small drop so that’s a concern but apart from that, they seem to be doing great on every single metric.
I recently published another quick insight highlighting the YTD performance of MENA-based technology companies that went public, and Jahez was the best performer (as it was the only company to see an increase in its share price).
There’s a lot more to uncover in Jahez’s financials but I’ll leave that for future issues.
What’s up: Endure Capital’s new fund
There are very few investors in the region who have built a reputation of being founder-friendly. Tarek Fahim of Endure Capital is one of them. I could be wrong but this is the feedback I have generally received from my conversations with his portfolio companies and founders who have pitched to Endure Capital.
He founded Endure in 2015 and invested in companies like Careem (exited), Maxab, Boom (the American firm that’s building a supersonic airliner), and Breadfast.
Endure Capital earlier this week has announced first close of its second early-stage fund. They didn’t disclose the size of the first close but fund size is $50 million and the investors include British International Investment (BII - formerly CDC), Egypt’s Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise Development Agency (MSMEDA), and founders of ‘different leading startups of the region’.
From its first fund, Endure used to invest with small cheques with large follow-on investments in winners. They’re probably going to do the same with this new fund, Endure 21.
The statement by the firm said that the new fund “will focus its investments primarily on impact-driven early stage startups in Africa, with a selective approach to investing in growth-stage startups globally.”
I have added 650 new subscribers to take the total number to 1398. Most of the new subscribers came from the recent LinkedIn posts I have been publishing.
That’s it for now.
The chart in the post was updated with the correct representation of some numbers, on Oct 12, 2022.