The laundry and home services startups’s latest investment comes as cit prepares to enter Qatar, having expanded out of Kuwait into Bahrain and UAE.
Kuwait-based cleaning and home services startup, JustClean, has announced the raise of $6 million funding round led by the Gulf Investment Corporation (GIC) and with the participation of a host of unnamed regional investors. Coinciding with the launch of a new car wash service in UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and KSA, this latest round brings the startup’s total funding to $26 million since its 2017 acquisition by Kuwait-based VC, Faith Capital, which targets emerging e-commerce businesses in the GCC region.
Founded a year prior by sibling duo Athbi and Nouri Al-Enezi, JustClean first came to life under the name ‘Masbagti’, quickly establishing itself throughout 2016 as the most efficient e-marketplace for laundries, while going some way to digitising the service. JustClean first established itself on a B2C model in its home market of Kuwait, before diverting to an inclusive B2C/B2B model in Bahrain and UAE, too. Beyond the marketplace, JustClean also provides logistical support for marketplace vendors, Point of Sale and comprehensive laundry management software - services it will now look to introduce to its next target market, Qatar, by the end of the year.
The investment highlights an upturn for the enterprise software sector across the region that started in 2021. Saudi-based cloud communication tech startup, Unifonic, chalked up the kingdom's first ever ‘mega-deal’, a raise of over $100 million last year, while 2022 saw the acquisition of Lebanese digital identity management and security specialist, Myki by US-based JumpCloud. These are just two examples of a booming sector that, according to Magnitt’s MENA 2022 Venture Investment Report, saw a remarkable 1053% YoY increase in capital investment in 2021. Reaching just below the $200 million mark, it was the fifth most-funded industry in the region in 2021, with two more of the highlights coming in the form of mega rounds for Egyptian startup, Halan ($120 million), and UAE cloud kitchen startup, Kitopi, which scored a remarkable $415 million Series C round.
Not resting on their laurels, the Al-Enezi brothers see these numbers not as an achievement, but as a passageway to expansion. “With the close of this latest funding round, we will further enhance the platform and diversify our service offerings, turning justclean into a super app for the cleaning industry,” said Athbi, who also serves as the CEO. “We are massively excited about this considerable financial injection which will enable us to realise our ambitions and take the company into a dynamic new era of achievement and growth.”
Typical press release statements aside, a $3 billion GCC cleaning industry market awaits for JustClean. Traditionally, said market has been dominated by independent service providers. Justclean emerged as a first-mover in digitising laundry service, consolidating the majority of offline operators into an easy-to-use platform, a majority that JustClean’s claims to have onboarded on its platform. Building on its position as a leader in the field, the startup has revealed that it will channel this new investment into expanding its services across the GCC region.
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