Raha launches an e-grocery startup after raising $6.7million Seed

Raha, the region’s newest e-grocery platform, has announced that it has officially launched in the Kuwait market, with its app now available on all Apple iPhones and Samsung Android devices.

An innovative homegrown concept, Raha is the Middle East’s first pure-play, fully automated e-grocery platform – offering a full range of groceries, fresh produce, and household essentials. It also features Kuwait’s first fully automated robotics-fulfilment centre, and one of the first centres of the kind globally with a chilled warehouse capability. Developed by global warehouse automation specialist, Swisslog, the centre serves as the core foundation of Raha’s technology-driven operational model and fully automated, data-driven intralogistics system – featuring the AutoStore solution; an innovative automated material handling solution that uses robots on top of an aluminium grid system to store and locate goods, efficiently delivering them to pick stations for processing.

Raha was designed as a digital business first and foremost. Raha has made a significant investment in its technological infrastructure. Raha’s operational model is completely self-serving and includes a robot-led fulfilment team and in house preparation of all fresh products. Raha’s easy-to-navigate smart platform leverages users’ data and insights to provide a personalized customer journey unlike any other in the market, with made-to-order items, easy step-by-step customization, tailored recipes,  and an impressively wide range of varieties across all product segments.

According to the Co-Founder and CEO of the company, Saleh Al-Tunaib, Raha’s investment in technology and innovation did not come as an added value extension of the business, but rather has been the driving notion at the heart of its conception and service model from the very beginning. “From the outset, the goal was to develop a pure-play digital retail operation that combined operational excellence with a simplified, intelligent user experience. Every step of the customer journey – from first log-in to final order delivery – has been carefully designed to deliver maximum convenience. We wanted to translate and elevate the traditional grocery experience at its absolute best to a seamless digital experience,” said Al-Tunaib.

Raha’s heavy investment in the infrastructure of both its software and product technology built a self-serving operational model that is now Kuwait’s first robotic fulfilment centre. Raha launched a fully-automated chill fulfilment centre, which was the first such facility in the world. This achievement introduces the entire region to intralogistics which is shaping the future eCommerce industry globally.

With a core commitment to hit quality and freshness benchmarks across every order, Raha employs a completely temperature-controlled and precise process. The entire logistics cycle, from procurement to last mile delivery, is controlled and monitored. Dedicated areas for the in-house preparation of meats, poultry, fish, and deli items offer consumers unparalleled freshness when coupled with Raha’s unique indoor dispatch area. Their trained fleet carries out the last-mile delivery that is route-optimized and time-efficient to complete the full cycle, seamlessly inserting Raha’s redefined grocery experience into the online commerce space that users are increasingly migrating to today. Raha also offers a variety of nutritionally-categorized items to suit all lifestyles. Raha Recipes is a one-click add–to-cart recipe component that uses only items in the app.

“Delivering this next level, seamless modern grocery delivery experience is credited also to Swisslog’s adept implementation of AutoStore that propelled us past the traditional warehousing and fulfilment systems currently present in our landscape,” added Al-Tunaib.

On his part, David Dronfield, General Manager of Swisslog Middle East, noted: “The micro-fulfilment centre designed for Raha is the first automated micro-fulfilment centre (MFC) implemented in Kuwait, with a system designed in such a way that order capacity per day can be effectively doubled through the ease of expansion our solution provides.”

A system that can deliver both scheduled and express delivery, as well as chilled products, offers customers unprecedented flexibility and convenience. It is clear that the pandemic at the time the partnership was conceptualized and envisaged played an important part in the desired outcomes and vision. Although Kuwait was under lockdown at the time, the teamwork and solid collaboration between Swisslog, Raha and Raha enabled the timely implementation of the system and the removal of pandemic barriers by our combined efforts.

It is worth noting that Raha was built and designed by a diverse group young talents who bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge in the areas of e-commerce, grocery retail, and tech development. With a capital of USD 6.7million raised by international VCs and backers from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, the company has successfully completed its seed round.

 

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