Merit Surpasses Funding Target with $12 Million Led by Alistithmar Capital i-Cap

Merit Surpasses Funding Target with $12 Million Led by Alistithmar Capital i-Cap

By Press Release, 20 May 2024

In a noteworthy development, Merit, which focuses on customer and engagement technology, has reported oversubscription in its latest funding round, drawing $12 million against a goal of $5 million in its pre-Series B effort led by Alistithmar Capital i-Cap and followed by existing Series A investors, Tech Invest ComHambro Perks, and Oryx Fund.

This achievement builds upon earlier Series A investment of $5 million in 2021 with Tech Invest Com, Impact46, Arzan VC, Hambro Perks, Oryx Fund, and several renowned regional angel investors and reflects the hard work and dedication of the Merit team and board members. Today, as disclosed, the company gears up to roll out its refined innovations, leveraging insights gained from the surge of customer interactions experienced in 2023. Merit has shared excitement around the opportunity to continue its mission of enhancing customer engagement through the continuance of the development of cutting-edge technology.

In 2023, Merit experienced notable growth, with a cumulative growth rate exceeding 60% and a substantial increase in its user base by 80%, launching more than 100 instances across 20 additional countries.

In its commitment to delivering value to its international user base and community partners globally, with a global operation across over 160 countries and collaborating with upwards of 6,000 brands, Merit is currently inviting competitive bids. Particularly in Saudi Arabia, the company has had a substantial influence, distributing in excess of a million rewards and gifts in 2023 alone. Looking to the future, Merit is set on increasing these efforts and aspires to enhance this tally threefold come 2024.

CEO Julie Barbier-Leblan shares her positive outlook, saying, "We are feeling optimistic about our progress on both international and regional fronts. As we look ahead, we have exciting objectives on the horizon for the coming years. Our increased involvement in Saudi Arabia's tech innovation ecosystem is something we are particularly pleased about. Looking forward, we anticipate a busy year ahead as we prepare to launch strategic projects. We recognize the immense market opportunity that awaits us, and we're confident that our proprietary engagement solutions will meet the needs of our users."

Regarding the successful funding round, Julie emphasised Merit's delight in surpassing its funding targets and praised Alistithmar Capital i-Cap's reputation as an esteemed investment management company, recognized by World Finance as the best investment management company in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2023. Alisthithmar Capital i-Cap is the esteemed investment arm of the Saudi Investment Bank.

She emphasized the pivotal role of The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB), a prominent financial institution known for its history of driving growth and achieving success. Notably, SAIB’s ownership of American Express Saudi Arabia serves as a testament to their ability to spearhead significant advancements in the financial sector, further propelling Merit's journey of growth and development. SAIB's funding into Merit is the first investment of the newly launched SAIB Venture Studio, which has been set up to launch new initiatives for customers in technology and financial technologies, leveraging SAIB’s capabilities. 

CEO at the Saudi Investment Bank, Faisal Al-Omran, elaborates on the SAIB Venture Studio: "This strategic collaboration with Merit aims to launch innovative digital solutions to the market. It comes as an outcome of the untiring efforts by SAIB Venture Studio to invest in innovative technologies and fintech companies and launch a stream of initiatives in fintech and loyalty programs.

"SAIB Venture Studio is an innovative platform and a digital factory for developing ideas provided by SAIB. It has achieved many targets since its inception and is striving for more and more.

"We boast our loyalty history as one of the first banks in the Kingdom to launch a digital loyalty programme. Our good track record with innovation partners, technology, and good synergies with many fintech partners, such as this strategic partnership with Merit, definitely contributes to boosting our leadership."

Merit and the Saudi Investment Bank have recently celebrated the investment and strategic partnership with a signing ceremony held at Four Seasons Riyadh.

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