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Dubai-based beauty e-commerce platform to expand across region

Shant Oknayan co-founder of GlamBox

GlamBox receives first round of funding.

October 3, 2013 6:22 by

Dubai-based GlamBox is preparing to expand into other countries across the Middle East region, as it receives its first round of funding of $1.36 million from MBC Ventures, STC Ventures and R&R Ventures.

This is a major step for the young online beauty retailer, which was launched in January 2012, along with its sister companies in Denmark, Brazil and Norway.

The start-up offers its consumers ‘beauty boxes’ – a package with trial-sized products, supplied every month on a subscription basis – with a vision to “change the way women consume beauty”.

Shant Oknaya, co-founder and managing director of GlamBox, says by the end of 2013, ‘beauty boxes’ will be delivered to thousands of women in Saudi Arabia.

“We noticed that while the online fashion sector was growing considerably in the Middle East region, there was a gap in the beauty market. We were aware of the challenges, as beauty entails trying, touching and feeling a product, but we knew that an e-commerce model – which would allow consumers to interact with a product – and a higher level of engagement and connection with beauty brands would definitely work. And it did,” he adds.

A report released in September, which was commissioned by PayPal and conducted by Ipsos, reveals that online spending in the Mena region is expected to grow from $9 billion in 2012 to $15bn by 2015, and approximately $3bn will be paid for by using mobiles, rising from $500m in 2013.

In other news, Saudi-based venture capital fund, STC Ventures, recently invested $1.7m in Careem, a UAE-based start-up offering a chauffeur-driven car booking service.

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