Eyewa, an online eyewear retailer in Dubai, has raised $ 21 million in a second round of funding to further fuel its expansion in the region.
The latest investment brings eyewa’s total funding to date to $ 30 million, the company said on Sunday.
Eyewa raised $ 1.1 million in a 2018 funding round from a group led by EQ2 Ventures and $ 7.5 million in a 2019 Series A funding round led by Wamda Capital.
“This fundraising will strengthen our expansion plans and allow us to deliver a better customer experience in the eyewear industry, both online and offline,” said co-founder Anass Boumediene.
“While we focused our early years on our home markets of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, we are now expanding beyond the rest of Mena.”
Mena-region start-ups attracted record funding of $ 1 billion last year, according to data platform Magnit.
The UAE retail e-commerce market value grew 53% to a record $ 3.9 billion in 2020, largely due to the digital shift in consumer shopping habits amid the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a report from the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The Series B round of funding, led by Kingsway and venture capital firm Nuwa Capital, with participation from French Partners, Endeavor Catalyst, Derayah, Palm Drive and Hardy Capital, will support the company’s expansion plans, its retail and omnichannel sales platforms and allow it to invest more in technology and product teams.
The eyewear specialist, which sells sunglasses, prescription glasses and contact lenses online, is also currently exploring opportunities with physical stores in key locations.
âHaving created a truly disruptive online offeringâ¦ we are very excited to embark on an omnichannel journey that will allow our customers to explore the differentiated eyewa experience in the physical and digital world,â said said co-founder Mehdi Oudghiri.
This fundraising will strengthen our expansion plans and allow us to deliver a better customer experience in the eyewear industry, both online and offline.
Anass Boumediene, co-founder of eyewa
Since its launch in May 2017, eyewa has been present in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain.
In addition to the selection of glasses and contact lenses from major brands, it has also invested in the creation of internal brands.
The company has designed and developed three ranges covering different price points, including 30Sundays, Blackout and Layala.
âA big part of our thesis at Nuwa Capital is to focus on the next evolution of retail. The confluence of offline, online and private label commerce is at the heart of this thesis, âsaid Khaled Talhouni, Managing Partner of Nuwa Capital.
The eyewa co-founders met while working as consultants on a project for a GCC government.
They then worked together as co-managing directors of the online food ordering business foodpanda in the Middle East, successfully creating one of the largest and most profitable operators in the region, which went on to was acquired by the parent company of Talabat food delivery company, Delivery Hero.