When Naif Alzahri and Abdulrahman Alnamlah set out on their entrepreneurial journey, little did they know that they would find themselves in the cloud warehousing and transportation logistics domain. Yet, this is precisely where they have made their mark with Sirdab, a Saudi-based startup backed by Y Combinator (YC).
"Sirdab, is a logistics platform that aims to simplify the complexities of acquiring warehousing space and managing inventories for businesses. It offers an array of storage options, from dry and ambient to chilled and frozen, all attainable within a swift 48-hour window," explains Naif Alzahri, one of Sirdab's co-founders in an interview with Inc. Arabia.
"Furthermore, it brings everything under one roof, providing a unified platform for efficient inventory management, optimization, and distribution."
While Alzahri and Alnamlah often found themselves mulling over various business ideas, the genesis of Sirdab was an outcome of sheer necessity. Alzahri's brother had recently relocated to Saudi Arabia and urgently needed storage for his furniture.
To Alzahri, who studied in the United States, finding storage solutions seemed like a straightforward task. He didn't expect to encounter the stark scarcity of storage facilities in the Saudi market. "The realization that there was an unmet need in the market was a lightbulb moment for us," Alzahri recalls. "We saw an opportunity to make a significant impact by addressing this gap."
Sirdab's innovative model revolves around bridging the gap between surplus warehousing and transportation capacity and businesses in need. "Our business model is about efficiency," says Abdulrahman Alnamlah co-founder of Sirdab. "By effectively connecting surplus capacity with those in need, Sirdab paves the way for a more cost-effective logistics ecosystem."
Sponsored by the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, Alnamlah pursued an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering at UC San Diego, while Alzahri majored in management science and engineering at Columbia University.
Their sojourn in the United States served as a pivotal phase in their entrepreneurial aspirations. It was during their academic tenure in these prestigious American institutions that they were exposed to the dynamic and innovative tech landscape of the United States.
Alzahri recollects, "We've always been driven by a desire to innovate and bring change. Our time in the U.S. exposed us to the potential of technology-driven solutions. It was during our studies there that we began to envision the possibilities of creating a tech-based business."
More than business partners, Alzahri and Alnamlah share a profound friendship that transcends their professional collaboration. Their friendship began in Saudi Arabia and continued when they both moved to the United States. Living in Boston for a year, they became close friends, bonding over shared experiences.
A significant milestone in their journey was their acceptance into the Y Combinator (YC) program. The founders applied for YC, securing a coveted spot in the program. YC's backing extended beyond the program itself, with continued investment in Sirdab.
Alzahri is optimistic about Sirdab’s future plans: "Our aim for 2023 is ambitious—to expand our business tenfold, making us a key player in the Saudi logistics market. We're excited to continue our journey of innovation and growth."