Dubai-based startup Opuntia that acquires e-commerce brands has raised $20 million in seed funding, one of the largest seed capital rounds in the Middle East and Africa region.
In addition to two offices in Dubai and Riyadh, Opuntia plans to open offices in Istanbul, Cairo and Lagos in the coming months.
The initial round was supervised by “Al Raid Ventures”, “Global Founders Capital”, “Bright Capital” and “Kingsway Capital”, with the participation of more than one angel investor, including Toshar Ahluwalia, CEO of Razor Group, and Jonathan Doerr, former CEO of “Raisor Group” Daras, co-founder of Gomyat, and Hussam Arab, CEO of Tabi and former CEO of Namshi.
Opuntia, launched last March by Philip Johnston and Manfred Mayer, allows e-commerce pioneers to make the most of their brands, whether by exiting them or taking advantage of their future growth. Moreover, Opuntia aims to nurture and build an ecosystem in the region for entrepreneurship in the e-commerce sector.
Opuntia will use the funds raised to acquire significant e-commerce brands and invest in a team of e-commerce experts in the Middle East and Africa who will be responsible for managing and growing the brands after the acquisition.
Indeed, the company has hired a high-level management team with extensive experience from Amazon, Noon, McKinsey, Uber Eats and Namshi.
Commenting on the successful funding round, Philip Johnston, Opuntia CEO, said: “We are very grateful to our partners who have joined us on this journey to advance the e-commerce ecosystem in the Middle East and North Africa. We established Opuntia to enable e-commerce entrepreneurs to make the most of their brand’s potential, both in terms of exiting now, and capitalizing on future growth.”
“The market in the Middle East and Africa is currently less mature than in the West, but is growing much faster than any other market in the world, as the number of entrepreneurs selling online is growing by more than 50% per year. This business model will work in the region; Because a lot of amazing entrepreneurs in the Middle East have emerged over the past few years.”