Rocket-fuelled results: Verofax is scaling up
Verofax is a traceability specialist for consumer packaged goods (CPG) brands. By creating a digital passport for each item in an inventory, and situating all of those passports within a digital twin, the startup makes inventories interactive and entirely traceable – driving highly accurate brand metrics and operational excellence.
Verofax won the Artificial Intelligence award in the Rocket Fuel Competition at LEAP 2023. So we asked Co-Founder and CEO Wassim Merheby how pitching at LEAP has accelerated the company’s progress.
Could you share the story of how and why you started Verofax?
“Verofax was developed from our personal pain. My co-founder and I had been working for 20 years as sales and marketing executives in global firms. However, it was always a challenge to have our brands engage with direct-to-consumer marketing, and use data to optimise product availability.
“So in 2019, we joined efforts to create a solution for giving every item a digital passport to address inventory and marketing challenges. We started Verofax in 2019 and we launched the Track and Trace service with augmented reality and computer vision in 2021.
“After launch, we quickly scored several pilots with leading consumer brands and Fortune 100 companies, and achieved $500K+ revenue within six months from brands and ecommerce clients. Then In 2022, all clients validated the solution benefits to their business and decided to adopt our solution – leading to over $1M revenue in 2022, and our solution powering the marketing campaigns for leading brands at FIFA World Cup 2023.”
Why did you decide to enter the Rocket Fuel competition?
“As part of our scale up roadmap, we had in mind to cater to the largest regional market (Saudi Arabia) and relocate our regional HQ to Riyadh by 2024. So we participated in LEAP back in 2022, to scout the market for opportunities and validate Saudi opportunities on the tech innovation front.
“We were amazed to see that LEAP is ear-marked to become the largest tech gathering globally, and the quality of networking opportunities surpassed all our expectations. That led us to participate in 2023, to start our relocation plan to KSA, and prospect clients and partnerships based on our market-fit validation with brands sponsoring the FIFA 2022 World Cup.”
How did you feel when you won the Artificial Intelligence award?
“It is an overwhelming feeling of gratification and validation to have our technology recognised among so many great startups that are equally promising. The win has cemented our belief that Saudi is the key GCC market that recognises and supports startups in more ways than any other country. The award was mostly distributed as a bonus for the 35 team members who worked very hard to make our startup a winner – and they were all thrilled from this validation.”
Since LEAP 2023, how has being a competition winner helped you achieve your goals?
“Since LEAP, we’ve received $1.5M in investments, and billed about $1M revenue.”
“LEAP has helped us finalise a vendor relationship with STC and other telcos who have offered to bundle our solutions and offer to the Saudi enterprise customers they service. It has also helped us get scouted by MCIT for their cohort 3 of Tech Champions, and introduced us to the Ministry of Tourism to align on a potential pilot in Saudi. It has helped many Saudi clients trust our technology – and we are currently finalising several engagements with leading Saudi enterprises.”
And what are the next steps for your startup?
“We’ve just completed registering Verofax in Saudi, and we’re currently recruiting five employees for our regional HQ in Riyadh, three of whom will be Saudi. We are readying for the pilot and prospecting over 20 clients in KSA with potential revenue of over $3M.
“We have several investors carrying out due diligence after expressing interest in Verofax as an investment opportunity – we expect to close our funding round by July 2023. We are preparing for STC channel team training to ramp up the bundled service sales across Saudi.”
What would you say to a startup that was considering entering the Rocket Fuel competition in 2024 (or just attending LEAP!)?
“If you are still considering, you will be late – and you’ll miss out on opportunities that are only available this decade in Saudi Arabia. Riyadh is the place to be and LEAP is the tech event that you cannot afford to miss out on.”