GlamBox receives $1.4m funding boost from MBC, STC and R&R Ventures
Dubai, October 2, 2013: GlamBox, the UAE start-up that is changing the way women consume beauty via its convenient monthly subscription service, delightful online shop and lively community, has attracted $1.4m from MBC Ventures, STC Ventures and R&R Ventures, in its first round of funding.
The newly acquired funds will help GlamBox scale rapidly and strategically its operations in preparation for its regional expansion. End of 2013 will see the pink glossy GlamBox delivered to the doorsteps of thousands of women across Saudi Arabia.
“GlamBox was founded in January 2012 with the vision to create an all-encompassing beauty home for women in the Middle East that offers the most coveted beauty products via a convenient and valuable service, genuinely useful and insightful content and a strong community,” said Shant Oknayan, Co-Founder and Managing Director of GlamBox.
“We noticed that while the online fashion market was growing considerably in the Middle East, there was a gap in the beauty market. We were aware of the challenges, because beauty entails trying, touching and feeling a product, but we knew that an e-commerce model that would allow consumers all the interaction with the product, plus a higher level of engagement and connection with the beauty brands would definitely work. And it did,” explained Oknayan.
“Now we think our renewed focus on engagement and content will resonate with Arab women and our approach has the potential to fundamentally change the way beauty products and content are consumed around the region. We’re fortunate to have a dynamic group of investors that support our vision,” concluded Oknayan.
Speaking for MBC Ventures, Managing Director Stephanie Holden said: “With our investment in GlamBox, we take MBC’s commitment to the digital space to new heights, supporting the growth of start-ups that provide fresh and compelling offerings to consumers in the Middle East & North Africa region. There is an actual demand for premium, relevant, e-commerce offerings, delivered in an attractive, smart and targeted manner. Based on its development so far, GlamBox has proven that is tuned to the market needs and trends. We’re delighted to contribute to fuelling its next stage of growth, while having a strategic addition to our group’s already strong line-up of investments.”
STC Ventures also gave their vote of confidence: “in GlamBox we found a great team and business, capitalising on the significant opportunity regionally in e-commerce, as well as the growing market for personal care and beauty which is under-served online, and offering a great product for female consumers. We are excited to be on board and supporting them in their regional expansion” commented Angus Paterson, Partner, STC Ventures.
A recent report commissioned by PayPal and conducted by Ipsos shows that online spending in the Middle East and North Africa is expected to grow from $9 billion in 2012 to $15 billion by 2015, and as much as $3 billion will be paid for on mobile, compared to the $500 million today.
“Start-ups that understand that innovation, market relevance and timing are critical factors that influence competitiveness and success, will immediately benefit from the changes in the market place; they will in fact ride the wave of change. That’s why we believe in GlamBox,” said Ramez Shehadi, R&R Ventures about investing in the UAE start-up.
GlamBox.ME launched in December 2011 and is part of a global network already successful in key markets including South Africa, China, Russia and Brazil. It offers consumers in the Middle East a great way to keep up to date on seasonal make-up trends and test a set of luxury products hand selected by beauty experts. All this is delivered to their doorstep for an amazing price, starting at AED 70 per month. Glambox.ME also features an online shop where consumers can purchase the products they tested and loved, and earn GlamPoints. There they can also find The GlamBlog, a hub designed to be a source of advice, tips and inspiration for beauty buffs across the region. For more information, please visitwww.glambox.me and follow GlamBox.Me on Facebook (www.facebook.com/GlamBoxME), Twitter (www.twitter.com/GlamBoxME) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/glamboxme).