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Soum Raises $18 Million to Expand ReCommerce in MENA

ReCommerce platform Soum has raised $18 million to expand through the Middle East.

The company, founded in Saudi Arabia in 2021, now hopes to extend its business into other parts of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), beginning with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the firm’s leaders told TechCrunch on Wednesday (Dec. 20).

In addition to its geographic expansion, Soum also hopes to add to the categories it covers. Though most of its products now are in the electronics category, the company also plans to start offering other  products, the report said. 

“We are expanding into different geographies and are looking at the whole MENA region. We have also started testing new categories to fulfill our vision of being a place where you can sell everything from phones to automobiles,” said co-founder Fahad Al Hassan. “We want to make buying and selling easier and accessible to everyone.”

According to the report, the round was led by Saudi Arabia’s Jahez Group, part company of Jahez, a food delivery platform based in the kingdom.

“The secondhand market has been exclusively dominated by classifieds and they did a good job, but as we progress in the digital age, we need to see something that is more convenient, frictionless, sustainable and that ensures trust,” Abdulaziz Alhouti, the chief investment officer of Jahez Group, told TechCrunch. “This is the preposition that Soum brings to the table.”

The round is happening as a number of reCommerce companies in the U.S. are diversifying as consumers cut back on spending, as noted here last month.

For example, The RealReal has embarked on an overhaul, hoping to reap the benefits in the first half of next year. The company has changed its commission structure, begun reexamining its supply dynamics, and implemented third-party advertising. 

Meanwhile, Fashionphile, a luxury resale platform based in San Diego, focused on preowned ultra-luxury accessories, is taking a different path by venturing into B2B wholesale following its purchase of the Canadian preowned luxury omnichannel retailer LXRandCo. (LXR). 

More recently, PYMNTS explored eBay’s ventures into the luxury resale market, where it will compete against niche firms like Poshmark and The RealReal, both of which offer platforms for buying and selling second-hand luxury goods.

Last week, the company launched a luxury consignment service through a via collection by Jenna Lyons, known for her role on “The Real Housewives of New York” and as the former creative director at J.Crew.