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Salla, a Makkah-based e-commerce enablement platform, has announced it raised $8.5 million in its STV-led Series-A round. Existing investors including Vision Ventures and Raed Ventures also made significant contributions to make the round a striking success for the startup.

Salla was introduced in 2016 by co-founders Nawaf Hariri and Salman Butt. The platform is comparable to Shopify, albeit it is geared more towards serving the Middle East and North African markets. It enables users to easily set up their mobile and web-based online stores in Arabic.

The startup prides itself as one of the first e-commerce enablement platforms to have come out of Saudi Arabia. It claims to have already helped more than 10,000 merchants process as many as 8 million orders. All combined, the platform has processed orders worth $533 million to date.

Salla doesn’t take any commission on the sales, meaning merchants don’t have to share their profits with the platform. Rather, it relies on the freemium model for revenue, with paid memberships starting from approximately $26. 

Commenting on the success of the Series-A round, Nawaf Hariri, the co-founder and CEO of Salla, said: “We are happy to have STV on board in our journey, as we continue to grow our proposition across the region. We believe that our easy-to-use and business-friendly platform, coupled with our Arabic offering and our flexible subscription plans, sets us apart from our competitors. With the backing of STV and the early belief by our previous investors, we are confident that we will be able to capture an even larger part of the market.”