Saudi e-commerce could get a boost after Zoho’s $30 million investment in SME sector

India-based global software company Zoho Corp. is set to invest $30 million in Saudi Arabia to encourage technology adoption across its small and medium enterprises, with a focus on e-commerce. 

The announcement was made during the second edition of the Saudi technology event LEAP 2023 held in Riyadh, where the company said it would be allocating $30 million worth of wallet credit and annual digital training to advance technology reach in Saudi Arabia. 

A statement said that the cloud company’s platform Zoho Commerce “is one of the few vendors in the market to offer natively integrated Arabic language right-to-left capabilities that help merchants to create e-commerce websites in Arabic.”

Saudi e-commerce websites will be able to use Zoho Commerce to create Arabic-language online stores, accept payments, and manage orders and shipping.

Currently, the platform works with 13 payment gateways, including PayTabs, PayPal, 2Checkout, and Stripe.

The company has said that e-commerce businesses in Saudi Arabia are going through “one of the biggest transformations in the world today with specific needs that the market has in terms of localisation of language, features and compatibility.”

It added that integration will be available across various Zoho apps, including Zoho Books, which is a VAT-compliant accounting software that offers e-invoicing provisions in line with local laws.

Saudi Arabia is looking to diversify its economy by developing its digital services, a huge chunk of which is e-commerce. Revenue in the Saudi e-commerce market had hit $7.05 billion in 2021, according to data firm Statista.

According to ecommerceDB, Saudi Arabia is the 28th largest market for e-commerce with a predicted revenue of US$12,363.1 million by the end of 2023.

Revenue is also expected to show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR 2023-2027) of 13.9 per cent , resulting in a projected market volume of US$20,802.8 million by 2027.

Zoho has said that it has been operating in the country for the last five years, and the company said it aims to boost Saudi economic sustainability and its wide-reaching digitalisation goals. 

The technology firm also intends to launch its first office in Riyadh, besides its current office in Jeddah.

The vendor has been in the market for 25 years, employing nearly 12,000 workers. It has 80 million registered users using its software worldwide from more than 50 countries.