Monday 20, November 2017 by Jessica Combes

GlamBox acquired by KSA Consortium

 

Beauty subscription e-commerce company, GlamBox Middle East has announced that it has been acquired by a Saudi Arabia-based consortium of investors.

The Dubai-based startup which was launched in 2012 by co-founders and angel investors Shant Oknayan, Fares Akkad, Christos Mastoras and Marc Ghobriel had previously raised over $4 million in venture capital funding from regional investors including STC Ventures, MBC Ventures, R&R Ventures and KSA strategic investors.

In the past five years GlamBox developed partnerships with over 200 leading international beauty brands, an e-commerce platform and operations in the UAE and KSA supported by an extensive payment, logistics and fulfilment network in the region, and built a large subscriber base of loyal customers.

“We are proud of what GlamBox achieved over the past five years – it was a remarkable journey and we are excited for the company’s future growth under the new ownership,” said Co-founder Shant Oknayan, who was GlamBox CEO 2013-2014 and currently Head of E-commerce, Retail, Online Services and Media at Facebook.

This is a testament of what can be achieved with a strong team and operational execution. As GlamBox joins the growing list of successful MENA startups that have achieved an exit, this is an additional validation of the opportunity in tech and digital in the region, said Co-founder Christos Mastoras, who is now Founder and Managing Partner of Iliad Partners, a Venture Capital firm that invests in early stage technology startups in MENA.

“We saw an opportunity in e-commerce at a time when the industry was still very nascent in MENA. The space is now booming with the entrance of large players such as Amazon via its acquisition of Souq.com and the digitisation of traditional retail groups,” said Co-founder Fares Akkad, currently Head of Media Partnerships at Facebook for Middle East and Africa.

Other GlamBox alumni have also gone on to hold senior strategic positions in leading corporations, digital companies and promising startups such as Uber, Visa and Designer24.

“We are excited about GlamBox’s next phase of growth and regional expansion. The KSA consortium which has acquired GlamBox brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in Saudi Arabia, the region’s largest beauty market”. Guinard, who joined GlamBox as CEO in 2016, launched a series of new initiatives – including a men’s grooming subscription service and a GlamBox app, while enriching the core offering for female subscribers with top brands and new emerging products - and grew the company’s subscriber base five-fold in the last year,” said CEO of GlamBox, Matthieu Guinard.

The Saudi consortium which has acquired GlamBox has diversified interests in media, retail and hospitality and aims to drive the company’s next phase of growth in Saudi Arabia, the GCC, and beyond. The sellers were advised on the transaction by Apostolos Binomakis of Iliad Partners as an independent advisor, with the shareholders including the founders, STC Ventures, MBC Ventures and R&R Ventures selling their stake to the new owners.

 

Features & Analyses

SME Finance A sincere form of flattery?

  When Stevi Lowmass of The Camel Soap Factory discovered her product was being copied and sold, she took a number of steps to… read more