Tag Archives: Dubai

the luxury closet

Dubai-based The Luxury Closet with fresh funding acquires Hong Kong-based Guiltless.com

The Luxury Closet, a Dubai-based ecommerce platform for pre-owned luxury goods raised $2.3 million in fresh funds, as their 2nd part of their growth fund, and closed its growth round with $11 million. This second closing of the round was led by Knuru Capital, recently established VC from Abu Dhabi. They raised $8.7 million as the first part of this round in July last year. That funding was led by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), and joined by Wamda Capital, Precinct Partners, TechInvest, Saned, and Equitrust.

The Luxury Closet

Armed with the new investment, The Luxury Closet has acquired Guiltless, a Hong Kong-based ecommerce website that also sells pre-owned luxury products and this way they expanded to Hong Kong.

Kunal Kapoor, founder & CEO of The Luxury Closet, announced that the Luxury Closet has built one of the best catalogs in the world, and now they want to expand internationally. He also said that the acquisition of operations of Guiltless will enable them to offer delivery and concierge services to their customers in Hong Kong, and he welcomed Knuru Capital as it will help them to continue to globally disrupt online luxury space.

The Luxury Closet

Alain Dib, CEO of Knuru Capital said that they were delighted to have The Luxury Closet as one of their first investments. He added that their purpose is to help fund the growth of the world’s most promising digital disruptors.

Based on announcement, MEVP has sold a part of its stake as part of this transaction and still remained the biggest shareholder in The Luxury Closet.

Emaar acquires Namshi

Emaar Malls acquired 51% of Namshi for 151m USD

Global Fashion Group, owned by Rocket Internet, has announced a strategic partnership with Emaar Malls, which have some of the biggest shopping malls like Dubai Mall in the region and owned by property developer Emaar Properties.

Emaar Malls will acquire a 51% stake in Namshi, the leading online fashion retailer in the Middle East, for 151 million USD including investment in the company for its future growth, with GFG retaining the remaining as 49% co-owner. This partnership will accelerate Namshi’s development in the region while on the other hand give big possibilities to Emaar Malls to grow in ecommerce sector. It has been expected that partnership like this happen, taking into consideration that Emaar was interested to buy Souq.com, the biggest e-commerce site in the region, which was acquired by Amazon for 650m USD earlier this year.

Namshi acquired by Emaar

“The acquisition of a majority stake in Namshi underlines our digital-driven strategy to leverage the growing e-commerce market in the Middle East and North Africa region,” said Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar Malls. “Namshi offers a perfect fit for Emaar Malls in accelerating its focus on multi-channel retailing, and creating long-term value for its stakeholders.”

“We are very excited to welcome Emaar Malls as our majority shareholder,” said Hosam Arab, MD of Namshi. “We are confident that this partnership will unlock further opportunities and help accelerate the development of Namshi for the benefit of our customers. We would like to congratulate and thank our team for their tireless efforts in making Namshi the Middle East’s premier fashion ecommerce destination and we look forward to continuing this journey together with Emaar Malls and GFG.”

Events that will support startups in Middle East

Increasing access to the latest technologies in countries where the largest social group are young citizens, lets us hope that technological revolution in the MENA region will come. In countries where the main problem is unemployment, the best alternative for many young entrepreneurs is to develop their own startup. A significant proportion of women in technology industry in the Arab world shows that, in the future, it can have a positive impact also on increasing their professional activity.

Development of the industry and encouraging innovation in emerging markets is an opportunity not only for the local community. The potential of the IT sector in developing countries is increasingly perceived in the West. Interest in the Middle East and achievements of local startups increases due to significant success of projects undertaken in this region.

Nowadays, five years after the Arab Spring, the economy in the region is slowly stabilizing, and entrepreneurs who want to develop their own startup have more opportunities for business growth and success. There are numerous programs such as accelerative Oasis500 in Jordan or MIT Enterprise Forum Pan Arab, which currently runs recruitment for the ninth edition of the program in the MENA region.

In the Middle East they are also organized numerous international events, which aim to promote local projects outside the region, as well as integration of the market with Western entrepreneurs and investors. During such events it is possible to exchange experiences and knowledge, and to become familiar with achievements of local startups in the Middle East region, which has the potential to play an increasingly important role in the global market. In the last year, conferences in the Middle East were attended by: Mike Butcher from TechCrunch, Boris Veldhuijzen Van Zanten from TheNextWeb or Dave McClure from 500 Startups. It is worth looking at some major events in the Middle East, whose further editions will be held this year: Step Conference (Dubai, 5-7 April 2017); MENA Games (Beirut, April); ArabNet Digital Summit (Dubai, 16-17 May); Startup Istanbul (Istanbul, 6 -10 October 2017); Webrazzi Summit (Istanbul, October 18-19 2017); RiseUp Summit (Cairo, December 2017).

The main objective of the organizers of these conferences is to gather specialists who want to share their knowledge and experience. An important point of events such as ArabNet, Turkey Startup or Startup Istanbul is to present startups, whose creators throughout duration of the conference participate in numerous workshops and compete for the opportunity to present in front of investors. During the events organized by Webrazzi in Turkey, as well as RiseUP Summit, a conference on the latest technologies in Egypt, the creator of the best startups also has the opportunity to meet with the conference participants and present their ideas in designated areas at the festival. MENA Games, organized in Beirut, is in turn one of the largest festivals dedicated to computer games in the region.

The organizers believe that promotion of local innovations and projects in the technology industry in the Middle East is crucial for accelerating economic growth and consistently improves quality of life in the region. The stories of many successful local startups can also be inspiring for Western companies, who are increasingly thinking about expansion into emerging markets.

10 most promising startups from Dubai

Low taxes and strategic position as a crossroads city in the Middle East make Dubai a perfect place for starting new products and services. Dubai currently has a status of a global city. It is a lot more than luxury shopping, contemporaneous architecture and agile nightlife. It plays host to a flourish tech startup ecosystem. Here are the most promising startups coming from this most populous city in the United Arab Emirates:

  1. EKar – an easy-to-use car sharing platform which enables you to easily book cars across the city where you live and work via your laptop or smartphone.
  1. Fetchr – a technology solution which makes shipping as delightful as shopping. Fetchr helps local merchants and global brands build, launch and grow profitable e-commerce and online businesses. Fetchr solves the problem of no physical addresses in emerging markets, and eliminates the need for annoying phone calls asking for directions.
  1. HolidayMe – online travel booking platform, which introduced on-the-fly customization of holiday packages. The novel concept has managed to bag Series A funding from Saudi-based investors. The start-up intends at giving the control in the hands of the customers by allowing them to pick holiday packages and customize them based on their personal choices from a broad database of over 1,00,000 hotels, 8,000 sightseeing activities and airport pick-up and drop facility across 300 cities globally.
  1. JadoPado is a marketplace where people around the world come together to buy and sell stuff. It enables you you sell new, used and refurbished products directly to buyers. Sellers handle their own stores, including products, offers, orders and fulfilment.
  1. Nabbesh.com – it is the Middle East’s largest marketplace to find, hire and get work conducted by freelancers. Companies can find freelancers within 24 -48 h and assignments can vary from a few hours to monthly recurring work.
  1. Bridg – a mobile payment platform which provides unbanked and offline transactions via bluetooth. It lets small to medium size businesses to accept smartphone payments over the counter or as a replacement to cash on delivery.
  1. HeyDoc! – a tele-health communication platform which connects patients with the right medical consultants through in app medical advisory.
  1. Careem – an app-based chauffeur driven car service currently operating in UAE, Bahrain, Beirut, Cairo, Dammam, Dhahran, Doha, Jeddah, Karachi & Morocco.
  1. Eureeca – an FCA-regulated equity crowdfunding platform which is changing the way people invest and businesses raise capital.
  1. Icflix – the MENA’s first unlimited streaming platform which delivers Jazwood (Arabic content), Bollywood and Hollywood movies, TV series, cartoons and documentaries, all of which can be watched on any internet connected device. The startup aims is to provide the best online entertainment value, selection and experience to a worldwide subscriber base.