The company has digitally brokered more than SAR 150 million in loans, providing borrowers unprecedented access, transparency, and convenience.
For most of us, acquiring a loan to purchase a big-ticket item, a car, or a home, remains to be one of the most impactful decisions of our lives. Many find that process challenging as it involves different stakeholders, resulting in an often manual process in which borrowers make decisions based on convenience rather than financial value. With the tectonic shift in the digital infrastructure space in Saudi Arabia we are convinced that consumers deserve more. We are glad to announce our first investment in Arib, the leading Saudi digital brokerage company that streamlines lending for consumers.
In 2019, Arib was founded in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, by Waleed Talaat, Omar Alhammad, and Mohamed Dessouky, who have more than 50+ years of combined experience. The company has received initial approval from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) to offer digital brokerage services for consumer financial products, including auto loans and other big-ticket items. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, Arib has witnessed tremendous growth by brokering more than SAR 150 million loans for over 50,000 clients across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Arib’s first product is Syaaraat, an Auto-loans brokerage platform that completely digitizes the journey of obtaining a loan. Previously, potential buyers had to search for a car they wanted to purchase. Then, they would seek a financier (i.e., bank or financing company) that would extend an offer. Oftentimes, as the journey is manual, it can take weeks to go through the process and consumers often end up without having enough data points to make an informed decision. Syaaraat simplifies this process. Financiers will be able to get verified relevant information and present their offer, while borrowers receive all offers on Syaaraat’s platform and pick the most suitable option. On top of Syaaraat, Arib is currently working on additional products, including personal loans, home loans, and credit cards, which are expected to launch in the near future.
In Saudi Arabia, personal home and car loans alone have grown a whopping 260% from SAR 125 billion in 2016 to SAR 330 billion in the 2020s. A recent survey indicates that almost two-thirds of consumers have applied for loans online either partially or fully. Moreover, the digital lending market is expected to grow at a rate of 12% CAGR to 2026. We anticipate a digital shift in the space due to the young, digitally-native population in the Kingdom and under-served consumers across different financial products and services.
Our investment in Arib adds to our growing portfolio of FinTech companies in the region. We believe that the financial sector in Saudi Arabia is undergoing transformational changes, unlocking massive opportunities across different verticals. Merak Capital’s experience in the FinTech space with payment providers, FinTech SaaS solutions, and B2B fintech products enables us to add significant value to Arib and its deep pipeline of products and platforms. We believe consumers deserve better, and we are excited to back Arib’s founders in realizing this vision and help shape the future of digital loans in Saudi Arabia and beyond.