UAE startup eyewa raises $21m in Series B funding round
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UAE startup eyewa raises $21m in Series B funding round

UAE startup eyewa raises $21m in Series B funding round

Eyewa aims to take its e-commerce model and expand into brick-and-mortar retail operations at key locations in the region

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The Middle East’s largest online eyewear retailer, eyewa, said on Sunday, June 27, that it had raised $21m as part of its Series B funding round.

The round, which was co-led by Kingsway and Nuwa Capital, saw participation from French Partners, Endeavor Catalyst, Derayah, Palm Drive, and Hardy Capital too.

This $21m Series B funding round brings the total funding to date of eyewa to $30m, after it raised a $1.1m seed round in 2018 led by EQ2 Ventures and a $7.5m Series A funding round in 2019 led by Wamda Capital.

A statement by eyewa said that the capital raised in the latest round will support the company with its expansion plans, allow further investment in technology and product teams, as well as in its retail and omnichannel technology.

Eyewa is now aiming to enter the retail sector. With many brands in the past year going from offline to online, eyewa is going in the opposite direction and is looking to expand its business model from an online retailer to bricks-and-mortar player with stores in key locations.

“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. 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,” said Mehdi Oudghiri, co-founder of eyewa.

Eyewa which was launched in 2017, has an e-commerce presence in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain. Not only does it stock and sell contact lenses and eyewear from all the major brands, eyewa has also invested heavily into building its house brands which fulfill untapped wants and needs of the local market.

Eyewa has designed and developed three unique ranges spanning different price points; including the lifestyle eyewear brand 30Sundays, the fast fashion collection called Blackout, as well as a natural colour contact lenses range, Layala.

Anass Boumediene, co-founder of eyewa, added: “This fundraise will boost our expansion plans and will enable us to offer a better customer experience in the eyewear vertical, both online and offline. The customer response since our launch four years ago has been formidable and we count on keeping our promise of offering the best products at the best price across the region.”

“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 UAE retail e-commerce market reached $3.9bn in 2020, a 53 per cent year-on-year increase. Also, e-commerce accounted for an 8 per cent share of the retail market in the UAE during the same year, said a recent report by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Read: UAE retail e-commerce market reaches $3.9bn in 2020

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