KSA-Headquartered Foodics Acquires Jordan-Based POSRocket To Become The Leading Restaurant Tech Provider In The MENA
Foodics' acquisition is a strategic move that will help solidify its position and become the market leader in Egypt, Kuwait, Oman and Jordan, while also opening the possibilities for further M&A activities and international expansion.
The acquisition is a strategic move that will help solidify Foodics' position as the leading restaurant tech provider in the MENA region, become the market leader in Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, and Jordan, and also open the possibilities for further M&A activities and international expansion.
Foodics, which offers operating software to restaurant and retail businesses using cloud technology, had previously secured US$20 million in a Series B funding round led by Sanabil Investments. Other backers included Endeavor Catalyst, Elm, and Derayah. With its software as a service (SaaS) ecosystem, the company manages customer orders, inventory, and other operational aspects. It has eight offices across KSA, UAE, Jordan, Kuwait, Egypt and the Netherlands.
Launched in 2016 in Jordan, POSRocket offers cloud-based point-of-sale software for restaurants and retailers, enabling owners to remotely manage operations in real-time. With the acquisition, POSRocket merchants can benefit from Foodics’ ecosystem in managing payments, supplies, and capital lending infrastructure.
Ahmad Al-Zaini, co-founder and CEO of Foodics, commented, “We are delighted to welcome the POSRocket astronaut team, its clients, and partners to the Foodics family, and we look forward to growing together for the benefit of the wider ecosystem. Our acquisition of the fast-growing and second largest restaurant cloud technology provider in the region is very strategic, as it naturally establishes our position as the dominant player across MENA and beyond.”
The partnership was a result of the companies’ focus on digitization, noted Djamel Mohand, COO, Foodics. "This acquisition came really naturally, as the two companies are focused on digitizing the F&B industry and help business owners increase their operational efficiency, migrating from legacy solutions to cloud-based solutions.” Mohand points out here that while Foodics’ focus was mostly on Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the UAE, POSRocket was targeting Jordan and Kuwait, as well as Egypt. “Instead of working in parallel for the digitization of the region, it was better to join forces and work together in order to do that faster on a bigger scale and also for the merchants to benefits from the advantages of both solutions. The size of the new entity will also help them to scale faster, with more products being rolled out at a faster pace.”
Zeid Husban, founder and Chief Executive Astronaut, POSRocket, also agreed with the alignment of the brands. “Bringing our talented teams together is a strategic move that yields us a unique competitive advantage," he said. "Now powered by Foodics, the POSRocket astronauts are delighted to be joining a larger team and brand, and with access to funding, we are looking forward to a bright future together.”
Going forward, Mohand revealed that Foodics and its team have a lot more plans coming up. “2022 will see more M&A activities from Foodics, as part of our next fundraising for Series C is dedicated to M&A.” This is around the team’s two main goals: “First to consolidate the POS restaurant tech industry in the region, and second, to make sure that we are the dominant player, and to have a scale that is big enough to be considered as an international player, not a local player anymore.” Vertical acquisitions are also in the pipeline. "The idea is that we want to become a one stop shop ecosystem for restaurants," he added. "For certain technical products, it would not be wise to build them from scratch, as there are existing solutions in market that are really dedicated for that purpose, and that have done great.”
‘TREP TALK: Q&A with Djamel Mohand, COO, Foodics
What kind of impact do you think this acquisition will be having on the MENA startup ecosystem? Also, what lessons do you hope that startups/entrepreneurs in the MENA region would take from Foodics acquisition of POSRocket?
“We really believe that this news will have a big impact on the MENA startup ecosystem. It gives all MENA founders and startups the sense that an exit is possible within the region. Usually, they are looking for an international exit or to be swallowed by international companies. Now this acquisition shows them that if they are successful and they bring value, they can exit even within the region, because we now have companies that are big enough to be seen as potential exits. That’s a very important message for the ecosystem.
The other impact we see is on MENA founders. This news shows them that if you have a good idea, a good execution, a good growth curve, there is a way to make it on a global scale, and that you have nothing to be jealous of international founders or companies. We’ve ourselves been to Silicon Valley, and we see this region to be just as dynamic, and this should really give a lot of confidence to all founders in this region. Nobody lacks smartness, enthusiasm, passion, and energy, but with that extra boost of confidence, they can grow to the next level and grow to exit in a significant way.”
What are the kind of attributes or characteristics you'd look for in companies wanting to partner up with you for the long term?
“We would consider doing M&A activities with companies that are able to offer more or better products for our customer base. The smartest way to do it will be through acquiring or partnering with smart technology solutions. The most important point, is that we are looking for people who share the same vision as us, the vision of being a global company, maybe going for a global initial public offering (IPO) later, that have that ambition, that passion, that energy, that want to do things at scale. [We want to work with] entrepreneurs that are not scared of scaling all over the region and potentially all over the world, and that are not here for quick cash gain or quick market gain, but are thinking big like us. This mentality is extremely important for us, because it is very critical that we team up with someone, be a company, founder, or entity, who share the same mentality; otherwise, it is a guaranteed failure. So, for us, this is the number one attribute we are looking for.”
Pamella de Leon is the Startup Section Editor at Entrepreneur Middle East. She is keen on the MENA region’s entrepreneurship potential, with a specific interest to support enterprises and individuals creating an impact.