Dubai-based eCommerce startup Opontia has raised $20 million in one of the largest seed rounds in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) in order to expand its operations across the region.
Opontia will use the funds to acquire exceptional eCommerce brands as well as to invest in a team of experienced eCommerce experts in the MEA who will be responsible for managing and growing brands after acquisition.
According to the company statement, “The seed round was led by Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Presight Capital, and Kingsway Capital with participation from angel investors like Tushar Ahluwalia, CEO of Razor Group, Jonathan Doerr former CEO of Daras and co-founder of Jumia, and Hosam Arab the CEO of Tabby and the former CEO of Namshi.”
Founded in March 2021, Opontia helps eCommerce entrepreneurs to unlock their brands’ full potential, both in terms of getting an exit as well as profiting from future growth. Furthermore, the company intends to support and grow the region’s entrepreneurial eCommerce ecosystem. Opontia currently operates in Dubai and Riyadh, with plans to open offices in Istanbul, Cairo, and Lagos in the coming months.
“We founded Opontia to enable eCommerce entrepreneurs to realize the potential of their brands, both in terms of getting an exit now, as well as benefiting from future growth. We saw that many sellers had started their brand because they were passionate about their product and their customers but had hit a ceiling in terms of how far they could grow due to constraints on working capital, operations, logistics, and eCommerce commercial management. This is where Opontia comes in. We enable entrepreneurs to sell their brand and we take care of the daily operations while encouraging them to be involved in the part they enjoy – building the brand. Many sellers tell us that this frees up time to enable them to start their next venture or take a hard-earned break.”
Mr. Manfred Meyer Co-CEO of Opontia said, “The market in the Middle East and Africa region is currently less mature than in the West but is growing much faster than any other market in the world, with the number of entrepreneurs selling on marketplaces growing at over 50 percent per year.”
“The business model will work here because there have been so many amazing entrepreneurs in the Middle East coming up over the last few years. It’s a great opportunity for sellers to be able to realize some of the hard work from building their brand so they can take some time off or work on their next big thing,” noted Mr. Meyer.