MONOQI, the online destination for hand-picked design, is welcoming a new investor and will use the fresh capital to expand into the Middle East. The new investor within this Series C financing round of €15 million is Al Jazeera Al Hadina – a wealth management firm which represents affluent Middle Eastern families. With the additional capital, MONOQI, which is headqartered in Berlin, will promote further growth within its core European markets and promote internationalization.
One third of the capital (€5 million) will go into a joint venture in Dubai to cater to the as-yet little developed e-commerce market. This joint venture makes MONOQI part of an investor consortium that wants to shape and expand the ecommerce market in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
“We are looking forward to entering the market—it is an incredible opportunity, but one that presents us with considerable challenges that we will address with an open eye and keen mind,” said Simon Fabich, founder and CEO of MONOQI. As the company currently does for its European customers, MONOQI will be presenting products by renowned designers and promising newcomers in the Middle East. Fabich further explained: “We aim to work more closely with local designers and suppliers to increase the diversity of our product range and bring together exceptional design talents and design enthusiasts onto a single platform.”
For MONOQI, the establishment of this joint venture presents a valuable opportunity. The e-commerce market in the Middle East is currently experiencing strong growth, with Saudi Arabia accounting for 25% of the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) e-commerce market and growing by around 30% per year. In particular, the areas of health and beauty, fashion, and interior design are becoming more and more popular in Saudi Arabia. However, the market does not yet have supply to match the demand.
The partners currently plan to open the branch office in Dubai before the end of this year and look for employees on-site. Last year, MONOQI increased sales by 35% and achieved net sales of €23.2 million. Since 2012, the Berlin-based company has been scouring the globe for tomorrow’s design classics, presenting exceptional products to its members on a daily basis.