Dubai-based Opontia raises $20m to acquire and grow Mena e-commerce brands
The seed investment round is one of the largest raised in the Middle East and Africa region.
Opontia, a Dubai and Riyadh-based startup that acquires and grows e-commerce brands has raised $20 million in seed funding, one of the largest seed rounds in the Middle East and Africa region.
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.
Launched in March 2021 by Philip Johnston and Manfred Meyer, Opontia enables e-commerce entrepreneurs to realise the full potential of their brands, both in terms of getting an exit as well as profiting from future growth. Furthermore, Opontia aims to nurture and build the entrepreneurial e-commerce ecosystem in the region.
Opontia will use the funds to acquire exceptional e-commerce brands and to invest in a team of experienced e-commerce experts in the Middle East and Africa who will be responsible for managing and growing brands after acquisition. The company has already recruited a top-tier team with notable experience from Amazon, Noon, McKinsey, Uber-Eats and Namshi.
Johnston said: “We are extremely thankful to our partners who joined us on this journey to transform the MENA e-commerce ecosystem. We founded Opontia to enable e-commerce entrepreneurs to realise 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 e-commerce 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.”
Opontia currently operates in Dubai and Riyadh, with plans to open offices in Istanbul, Cairo, and Lagos in the coming months.
“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 per cent 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 realise some of the hard work from building their brand so they can take some time off or work on their next big thing," added Meyer. — firstname.lastname@example.org
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