Astra Tech (‘Astra’), a UAE-born technology development and investment group formed by Abdallah Abu Sheikh, a serial entrepreneur and pioneer in Middle East and Africa’s (MEA) tech startup ecosystem, has moved one step closer in bringing the region’s first ultra platform to life by integrating the services of Rizek, a homegrown UAE-born super platform for on-demand personal and home services, into its ultra platform.
This integration of Rizek, also founded by Abu Sheikh, will significantly accelerate the realization of Astra Tech’s vision to create an interconnected and digitized ecosystem that simplifies the way people communicate, shop, pay, and transact.
Already well established in the UAE, KSA and Egypt, Rizek will instantaneously give Astra access to hundreds of its on-demand personal and home services across various segments. Alongside its services, Rizek will also contribute a corporate culture of borderless innovation to drive value for users, partners, and service professionals of Astra’s ultra platform.
Featured among Forbes’ top 50 most funded startups, Rizek has raised USD $24 million in funding to date to grow its operations and expand its footprint. Rizek was launched in 2020 and since then has acquired over a million users, served by a network of more than 20,000 ‘heroes’ — the name given to the platform’s service providers. Following its remarkable growth, loyal customer base and the exceptional value provided to all across its ecosystem, Rizek was last valued at USD $75 million (AED 275 million).
“Hot on the heels of the announcement that we’re raising USD $500 million (1.8 Billion AED) to develop the first ever ultra platform for the Middle East region, this agreement with Rizek will mark a significant tangible step in putting the first strategic building block of our digital ecosystem in place,” commented Abdallah Abu Sheikh, Founder & CEO of Astra Tech. “Rizek is already a leader in its markets. The platform boosted the regional gig economy by creating job opportunities, and was first to market with crucial services such as home PCR testing and COVID vaccinations. This inventive culture is just one example of how Rizek pushes the envelope to place the power in the consumer’s hands. By bringing Rizek’s agility, plethora of services, and innovation into our ecosystem, we’re accelerating the time to market for Astra Tech’s revolutionary ultra platform.”
Through its ultra platform, Astra will acquire, repurpose, and bring together already established and sector-leading leading platforms to revolutionize how people live their lives and save them significant time when completing essential everyday tasks. Additionally, Astra’s platform aims to deliver better value to the suppliers and partners of personal and home services by removing the burden of unfavorable commission structures. Fundamental to achieving this will be Rizek’s success to date in providing major value across its entire ecosystem.
“Rizek is the first in a series of strategic alliances Astra will make, and its significance among our ecosystem cannot be overstated,” added Abdallah Abu Sheikh. “Our plan is to achieve the horizontal and vertical expansion of Rizek’s services into our ultra platform to maximize the value we provide to users, partners, and our service professionals. And with Rizek speeding up our time to market, we’ll be able to enrich society sooner and for longer.”