In 2016, the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) signed the Value Added Tax (VAT) Agreement, paving the way for the introduction of a general consumption tax across the region. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia were the first member states to ratify the treaty in 2018, and its implementation meant that, for the first time, businesses in these regions were required to submit periodic VAT returns. they became
UAE resident Nadeem Alamuddin says he immediately saw an opportunity in the accounting space as businesses sought to file returns under the new law. This inspired him to launch Wafeq in 2019, a start-up that initially provided accounting services and later in 2021, a scalable SaaS e-invoicing and accounting solution focused on clients in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. Saudi launched
Foq is now exploring new growth opportunities in Egypt while doubling down on existing markets as businesses comply with evolving accounting and financial requirements. Growth plans follow $3 million in seed funding raised in a round led by Raed Ventures and Wamda Capital.
“There are regulatory changes happening in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and that’s something we’re trying to capitalize on right now… We’re also doubling down on our existing markets, where we’ve already been,” Alamedin told TechCrunch. “We have good traction.”
Egypt and Saudi Arabia now require businesses to comply with electronic invoicing, which he says has led to increased demand for accounting software, which he uses through his Enterprise API (API).
Wafeq is an approved provider in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (where e-invoicing is not yet mandatory). This startup is also receiving a license from the Egyptian Tax Administration. Alamedin said the North African country offers huge opportunities for startups as it hosts millions of small and medium-sized businesses.
On the other hand, its accounting platform makes it easy for customers to generate VAT returns, manage inventory, payroll, invoices and track expenses. It also creates actionable financial reports and insights for businesses.
Alameddine said, “We position ourselves as a complete accounting software for small and medium-sized companies and offer three different plans that help businesses looking to send compliant invoices, manage their accounts payable, or those looking for a complete accounting solution including inventory management and payroll services.”
Currently, more than 630,000 invoices are generated through its platform each month, totaling more than $117 million in monthly invoices. They predict that this will grow exponentially following its growth plans.
Commenting on the deal, Talal Alasmari, founding partner of Raed Ventures, said: “We are delighted to support Faq as they solve a problem that affects thousands of businesses in the region. “The digitization of accounting practices is truly changing the way SMEs operate, increasing operational transparency, creating efficiencies and contributing to economic growth.”