Opontia, a startup that acquires and grows e-commerce brands since its launch in March 2021, today announced it has raised $42 million. The Series A funding round was a mix of equity and venture debt, with STV, the largest venture capital fund in the Middle East and North Africa, leading the equity investment.
Philip Johnston, CEO of Opontia, said: “The successful completion of our Series A round supports our robust investment case and will enable us to expand our presence in key growth markets for the e-commerce sector. With prestigious cornerstone investors choosing to expand their holdings, and new entries to Opontia from leading equity and debt venture capital and angel investors, we are extremely thankful to our partners who show confidence in our business model. We are committed to continuing to support e-commerce entrepreneurs in realising the potential of their brands. Through Opontia’s support, entrepreneurs can achieve scale and development as we lead on daily operations while we enable them to continue to benefit from the growth in their brands.”
Further testament to Opontia’s potential and strong expansion since launch, existing investors Raed Ventures and Global Founders Capital (GFC) doubled down in the Series A round.
Moreover, other new equity investors joined the funding round, including Upper 90, a New York-based fund, and VentureSouq, a Dubai-based venture capital fund. Ahmad Alshammari, General Partner of STV, and Saed Nashef, Founding Partner of Read Ventures will join the board of Opontia.
Ahmad Alshammari, General Partner at STV, stated: “With Philip and Manfred at the helm, joined by a fantastic team of hard-working e-commerce experts, we believe that Opontia is in a unique position to be a sector leader in the fast-growing e-commerce market. E-commerce in MENA is still underpenetrated compared to other markets, but we have seen significant growth, especially when it comes to new D2C brands that are popping up and uniquely cater to local tastes. With its disruptive business model and vision, Opontia really is in the right market at the right time.”
Solidifying the robust growth potential of Opontia is the venture debt raising, which comprises just over 50 per cent of the $42m Series A round. The venture debt has been funded by Partners for Growth (PFG), a globally focused billion-dollar San Francisco-based venture debt fund.
The Series A investment follows nine months of sustainable, fast-paced growth since Opontia launched, during which it has expanded from Dubai to launch offices in the three other largest e-commerce markets in Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa (CEEMEA), namely Poland, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia. In the coming months, Opontia is to incorporate offices in more high-potential growth markets including Egypt, Nigeria, and Pakistan.
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. Since launch, the company has grown its headcount to over 50 people, acquired four brands, and signed term sheets with a further 15 brands.
Opontia will use the funds to acquire exceptional e-commerce brands and to invest in a team of experienced e-commerce experts in Central and Eastern Europe, 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.
Manfred Meyer co-CEO of Opontia, added: “The e-commerce market is rapidly augmenting across Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa markets. The pace of innovation, entrepreneurship and growth is reaching new heights but remains less mature than in some western markets. As such, entrepreneurs are increasingly seeking support in scaling-up brands and that is where Opontia has a pivotal role to play. Through the Series A investment, Opontia will continue to enable entrepreneurs and brands to grow and solidify their market share, while generating sustainable economic returns that will enable Oponita to continue to grow and support more brands.”
Saed Nashef, Founding Partner of Raed Ventures added: “We’ve made an early bet on Opontia in their first institutional round purely on the strength and experience of the founding team, and the size of the opportunity in the consumer goods aggregator category. Philip, Manfred, and their team have done an amazing job at establishing Opontia as the leading sellers' roll-up player in Mena. We’re excited to be following on our initial investment with them as they take the company to the next level."
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