Mumzworld, a major online retailer for mom and baby products in the Middle East, raised $20 million in its latest funding round as it accelerates its expansion in Saudi Arabia and invests in new technology.
The Series B round of funding from Gulf Islamic Investments, a UAE-based financial services company, will also help the company grow in the Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, Mona Ataya, founder and chief executive of Mumzworld, said in an interview. She declined to provide a company valuation.
"It's an important strategic investment to help us grow in the Saudi market, which is fast becoming our biggest market," Ms Ataya said. "Saudi is a priority, we're building warehouses and hiring people for supply chain logistics."
Saudi Arabia is the Arab world's largest economy and its e-commerce market is set to expand 27 per cent to $10 billion by 2022 from $3bn in 2017 led by a growing middle class and more women, according to a study by Google and Bain & Co. released on Monday. The online shopping industry in Mena is set to expand 28 per cent to $28.5 billion over five years, up from $8.3bn in 2017.
Mumzworld, which focuses on the Arabian Gulf as its anchor market, plans to grow from 150 to 240 employees by the end of next year, Ms Ataya said.
The company has doubled its revenues this year compared to 2017, she said, declining to provide figures.
Ms Ataya said the target is to double annual sales for the next two years as it expands in the Mena region, gains new customers and adds to its product catalogue.
"We estimate there's an addressable market of 15 million mothers that we are going to grab," she said.
The $20m investment makes Gulf Islamic Investments the biggest investor in Mumzworld, GII said in an emailed statement.
"The GCC region, with its high disposable incomes, lower e-commerce penetration than Western markets but high and fast-growing internet penetration and young population has all the necessary recipes for this segment to be successful," Mohammed Al-Hassan, GII's co-founder and chief executive for the Gulf, said.
Mumzworld offers more than 200,000 products to about 2.5 million customers and delivers to more than 20 countries. It offers about 1,800 brands that it expects to double in the next six months.
The funding follows investments from Tamer Group, Wamda Capital and Swicorp, together with 6 additional investors, earlier this year.