MENA’s largest online eyewear retailer to open physical branches to build and refine “omnichannel” customer experience.
The largest online eyewear retailer in the Middle East, UAE-based eyewa, has raised $21 million in a Series B funding round co-led by London hedge fund Kingsway and Dubai-based investment platform Nuwa Capital.
The round also saw participation from French Partners, Endeavor Catalyst, Derayah, Palm Drive, and Hardy Capital.
Founded in 2017 by Mehdi Oudghiri and Anass Boumediene, eyewa has cemented its position in the Gulf region as a leading eyewear e-commerce market, realising its vision in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, and Bahrain.
While many businesses have seen their operations shift from predominantly offline to online in the past year, eyewa has gone in the other direction, exploring opportunities to open physical stores in key locations.
Co-founder Oudghiri explained that “after building a truly disruptive online offering with best-in-class customer experience, we are very excited to embark on an omnichannel journey that will allow our customers to explore eyewa’s differentiated experience in both the physical and digital world.”
He added that “our stores are built on the basis of what made our success online, with a vibrant look and feel in line with our times, leveraging technology in every aspect of customers’ interaction and exclusive products at accessible prices.”
Meanwhile, co-founder Boumediene laid out the company’s vision for expansion beyond the Gulf, saying that “while we have focused our first few years in our home markets of UAE and [Saudi Arabia], we are now expanding beyond to the rest of MENA and will bring our successful formula of affordable eyewear and amazing customer experience to a wider audience.”
The $21 million raised takes the total funds accumulated by the company to $30 million, following $1.1 million in a 2018 seed round led by EQ2 Ventures, and another $7.5 million in a 2019 Series A Funding round led by Wamda.