Dubai start-up Opontia raises $20mln to buy, scale up e-commerce brands

Financing considered one of largest in Middle East, Africa region

Digital Composite Image Of Person By Various Icons Doing Online Shopping. Image used for illustrative purpose only

Digital Composite Image Of Person By Various Icons Doing Online Shopping. Image used for illustrative purpose only

Getty Images/ Nikom Khotjan / EyeEm

Dubai-based start-up Opontia, which is in the business of acquiring and scaling up small e-commerce brands, has raised $20 million in financing. 

The funding round was led by Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Presight Capital and Kingsway Capital. Angel investors such as Razor Group CEO Tushar Ahluwalia, former Daras CEO and Jumia co-founder Jonathan Doerr and former Namshi CEO Hosam Arab participated in the seed round. 

The seed funding was raised just over a year after the start-up launched its business in March 2021. Opontia, which also has presence in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia acquires brands that are profitable and have the potential to make more money, then use their expertise to scale them up. 

The e-commerce businesses being targeted are those with more than $10,000 in monthly revenues, particularly those that are independent and have “superior organic search rankings and lots of great customer reviews”. 

In a statement, Opontia said its business model helps entrepreneurs realise the full potential of their brands, “both in terms of getting an exit as well as profiting 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,” said Philip Johnston, CEO of Opontia. 

“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.” 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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© ZAWYA 2021

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