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UAE-based Hamples ‘Happy Samples’, an eCommerce of Free Samples & Mini-Trial packs for everyone to Try Before They Buy announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round led by Nama Ventures.
Founded in May 2021, by husband and wife Aditi & Gaurav Oberoi, Hamples is a launchpad for brands to Try_Vertise (trial-based advertise) & use brand products as a marketing vehicle. Both, Aditi & Gaurav, started their entrepreneurial journey 14 years ago from their MBA college library. After successfully launching their first online venture together in 2007, they turned into educators and since then, they have mastered the subject and trained corporates & professionals from across the world on Digital Marketing & Transformation, E-commerce, and Social Media Optimization strategies.
As recorded in our State of Startup Funding-Emerging Venture Markets 2022 Free report released just this morning, the E-commerce sector across EVMs observed a 97% YoY growth in funding in 2021. Despite this growth percentage being rather conservative relative to other leading sectors like T&L (460% YoY) and FinTech (549% YoY), the second-highest number of deals per industry were closed by E-commerce startups, while the sector climbed two ranks last year to become the third-most funded sector in MENA over 2021. On top of investor target lists this year, were E-commerce and Delivery startups that have built market-tailored offerings, integrating financing and logistics solutions to create holistic and sticky services. A great example of this focus could be observed in the growth of B2B E-commerce solutions across MENAPT, and the intricacy of their offerings. B2B E-commerce startups have been gaining more and more traction from raising 7% of total deals in the industry in 2017 to more than 17% in 2021 YTD.
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There are many online & offline channels to buy but there is none to Try Before we Buy. One needs to be lucky to get matched to the sample of a product they in-market for. On the other side, the brands depend on traditional channels to generate trials, a proven strategy to create awareness, drive sales and build long-term customer loyalty. Gaurav, an engineer & a Harvard alumnus, is a rational thinker and his logical approach is often complimented by Aditi’s creative thinking which allowed them to find an untapped opportunity for brands and users alike. During covid lockdown, they created, operated & managed 25+ eCommerce stores for Alshaya Group brands including Boots, The Body Shop, The Beauty Edits, Muji etc. It took them a few years before they decided to transition from an established services business to launch a consumer-facing scalable venture. As they say, entrepreneurs never settle, they always challenge their perceptions and raise the bar. They both seem to be living up to this and have brought tougher all their expertise & learnings to launch Hamples.
Globally digital discovery industry is growing rapidly but there is very little innovation done in the space so far. In the new post covid era, we are seeing a surge in NPDs, innovation in the categories, and change in consumer habits. Hamples is perfectly placed to bridge the gap in the pre-purchase user journey and reduce wastage, thus put an end to buyer's regret.
The newly acquired investments will support Hamples’ vision to become a destination for users to discover new launches, try new products, and experience innovation from the conform of their home. “I have been investing since 2006, and when you have been investing this long you develop muscle memory on identifying great talent (at least you think you do !), when I met Gaurav, I knew from the first 10 minutes this guy is the ultimate “seller” of a startup, he did not know it at the time but he already had us sold,” says Mohammed Alzubi, founder and Managing Partner at Nama Venture. “ The team was super versed in the consumer goods space and ways to help brands communicate via sampling to their potential customers. With Hamples, we broke 2 golden rules at Nama, first, we invested in a couple, but this complementary couple was so good, you simply couldn’t say no to, the second rule, we agreed to move forward without them having a technical co-founder at inception”, Mohammed added, “ As the saying goes, be so good that you can’t be ignored. Well, we sure couldn’t ignore Hamples – Happy Samples, our latest great addition to Nama’s awesome clan.”
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