Swedish Entrepreneurs Pierre Siri and Henrik Persson are looking to raise $25 million for the Arabic classifieds company Opensooq. That could make it the leading site in Saudi Arabia.
We have previously reported on Henrik Persson’s and Pierre Siri’s plans to acquire the Swedish real estate site Hemnet (article in Swedish). That deal is still alive and well, according to Breakit’s sources. However, the duo is working on another large deal at the same time.
It’s about the classifieds site Opensooq, which is currently looking to close a substantial venture capital round.
According to Breakit’s sources, the goal is to raise $25 million from a handful of European VC’s. The company is expected to be valued at close to $100 million.
“The are already far along in the process, and should be able to close the deal within the coming weeks. It could be slightly less than $25 million, depending on the valuation and who decides to invest”, a source familiar with the matter says.
Opensooq has a strong position in most arabic speaking countries already, such as Jordan, Oman, Kuwait and Iraq. Most of the new capital will be used to take a strong position on the largest arabic speaking market – Saudi Arabia.
The company already has a presence in Saudi Arabia, but hopes to improve its position with a larger war chest.
Opensooq is the largest asset in the portfolio of the investment firm Merro. Henrik Persson and Pierre Siri founded Merro in 2014 along with the entrepreneur Michael Lahyani with the aim to build digital marketplaces.
Pierre Siri was one of the people who built the Swedish classifieds site Blocket to its current state, both as an investor and as CEO. Henrik Persson started as a stock analyst and business journalist, but joined Kinnevik later on to build up the investment company’s e-commerce portfolio. He was responsible for the investment company’s investment in the Russian classifieds site Avito, which it has now sold off.
The Swedish investment company Vostock New Ventures, which is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm, has invested about $7 million (SEK 60 million) in Merro.