CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

Report: eCommerce Firm Floward Preparing for IPO in Saudi Arabia

IPO

Floward, a Middle Eastern eCommerce firm, is reportedly working with Goldman Sachs Group and HSBC Holdings for a planned initial public offering (IPO) in Saudi Arabia. 

The company, which specializes in delivering flowers and gifts, could go public as early as next year, Bloomberg reported Wednesday (Nov. 22), citing unnamed sources. 

Reached by PYMNTS, a Floward spokesperson declined to comment on the report. 

Specific details of Floward’s IPO, such as the size and timeline, are still under discussion, and additional banks may be added to the IPO process at a later stage, according to the Bloomberg report. 

Founded in 2017 by Kuwaiti national Abdulaziz Al-Loughani, Floward currently operates in 37 cities across nine countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Britain, the report said. The company has experienced significant growth and success, raising $156 million in a Series C pre-IPO investment round in February. 

When announcing that funding round in February, Al-Loughani said in a press release at the time that Floward’s valuation had grown by 3.8 times since its previous funding round a year and a half earlier, despite 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 [about] 400 brands and local talents who have produced some of the best brands on a global scale,” Al-Loughani said. 

The company said at the time that it would use the funds from the Series C round to invest in expanding its gifting verticals; using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to elevate its customer experience; and consolidating and investing in local brands serving different categories of the gifting market. 

Floward’s decision to pursue an IPO in Saudi Arabia aligns with a growing trend of tech startups in the Middle East seeking public listings, per the Bloomberg report. Historically, these startups have been absent from stock exchanges in the region. 

However, recent developments indicate a shift in this trend, the report said. Food delivery firm Jahez International became the first startup to go public in Saudi Arabia almost two years ago. More recently, Tabby raised $200 million in a funding round ahead of a planned listing in Saudi Arabia.