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loward, a Riyadh-based online flowers and gifts platform, has raised US$156 million in a per- IPO Series C round led by three Saudi-based entities: Shariahcompliant investment firm Aljazira Capital, independent venture capital (VC) and private equity firm Rainwater Partners, and tech VC firm Saudi Technology Ventures (STV). The announcement was made during the 2023 edition of LEAP -a Saudi Arabia-based global annual tech conference that explores disruptive future technologies with global tech companies, investors, speakers, and professionals- which was held from February 6-9, 2023.
Floward’s pre-IPO Series C round comes on the back of its $27.5 million Series B investment round led by STV and Impact46, a Riyadh-based asset management and advisory firm, in June 2021. With the fresh influx of capital, Floward now aims to further invest in expanding its gifting verticals and rely more on artificial intelligence and machine learning to elevate its customer experience. The funds will also be allocated towards features that can meet the demands of its growing customer base in the MENA as well as the United Kingdom.
This round also follows Floward’s acquisition of Saudi-based perfumery brand Mubkhar in November 2022. As such, the new capital is also expected to be targeted towards Floward’s merger and acquisition strategy, as the enterprise plans to invest in local brands that champion different categories of its target gifting verticals.
“We are proud to announce the successful closing of our investment round led by Aljazira Capital, Rainwater Partners, and STV,” said Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani, Chairman and CEO of Floward. “We would like to extend our gratitude for their trust in our team who have achieved remarkable results and driven the company’s valuation to grow 3.8 times since our last funding round a year and a half ago amid the challenging global investment climate.
Our commitment to the region has delivered 50 million flower stems in 2022, created more than 1,000 direct jobs, and partnered with 400+ brands and local talents who have produced some of the best brands on a global scale.
Furthermore, we are honored to have been selected for the Saudi Unicorns Program and are very excited for the next chapter of our journey.” On his part, Naif Almesned, CEO and Managing Director of Aljazira Capital, added, “We are confident in the Floward team’s ability to lead the company to a successful and prosperous future. The transaction marks Aljazira Capital’s commitment to enabling local and regional business ventures that make an impact on our society.”
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