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UAE e-commerce platform Awok shuts shop after securing $30m funding

UAE e-commerce platform Awok shuts shop after securing $30m funding

The global economic downturn was cited as the reason

UAE-based e-commerce portal Awok has ended its operations, a year after closing a $30m funding round.

The platform signaled the global economic downturn to be the reason behind the cessation of its services.

“Awok’s journey as a mass market e-commerce player has unfortunately come to an end, and the company has ceased operations. After seven incredible years of saving money for our customers by creating regional business and a platform for our suppliers and sellers, we are sad to inform you that given the current global situation it left the company no other choice than to close its platform for good,” a statement on its website read.

“The ambition of the company was to bring choice and affordability to everyone in the MENA region by building infrastructure and platforms to enable businesses, but this ambition did not survive the current business environment to come to fruition.”

Read: The future of e-commerce in the UAE

Headquartered in Dubai, Awok was founded by Ulugbek Yuldashev in 2013. The website offered approximately 300,000 products across over 50 categories which included mobiles, fashion accessories, home appliances, kitchenware, cameras as well as health and beauty products.

In April 2019, Awok had closed its first external round of financing worth $30m to pursue its growth plans across the Middle East and North Africa region.

In a similar move, UAE-based Al Tayer Group also confirmed in June this year that its online fashion platform Nisnass will be closing down.

Read: UAE online fashion platform Nisnass closing down, confirms Al Tayer Group

However, studies reveal that revenues from e-commerce grew by an unprecedented 71 per cent in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year.

According to the Salesforce Q2 Shopping Index, the sector grew by 20 per cent in the first quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic began to impact retail. Traffic to e-commerce sites (37 per cent), conversion rates (35 per cent), and spend (34 per cent) also experienced a historic year-over-year increases in Q2.

Read more: E-commerce revenues jump 71% in Q2 amid Covid-19 – report

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