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The UAE-based healthy snack and lifestyle brand Koala Picks has successfully raised $408K in its first Launch funding round. The first external round for Koala Picks was driven by individual investors in the startup’s network and included no VC entities, which creates a unique financial opportunity for the UAE-based team.
Launched in 2019 by Ahmed Mobasher, Aya Assaf, and Omnia Abdelhalim, all three being modern proactive parents, Koala Picks set forth to tackle the core roots of unhealthy eating habits in children. With the easy access of unhealthy foods and the damp variety of healthy snacks, Koala Picks created an exciting brand for nutritious snacking available on-demand.
As the UAE-based startup scene observes a dip in number of transactions YoY, UAE-based startups still acquired the lion’s share (46%) of total investments raised in MENA in 2021, as most recently recorded in our August 2021 Venture Investment Dashboard. Early-stage deals in the UAE (<$500K) have consisted 30.5% of all funds raised YTD, where only 3 of those deals were closed by food brands. Interestingly, as UAE-focused investors pivot to later-stage deals, startups like Koala Picks are finding alternative ways to fund their scale-ups, where only 1 of the three aforementioned startups, UAE-based Sprout, has disclosed funding by VC investors Savour Ventures and FA Holding.
The UAE-based team is taking on a holistic approach to nurturing healthy lifestyles driven by healthy eating, as Koala Picks engages customers with educational tips and insights on their children’s health. The Koala Picks team also consists of an in-house nutritionist who inspects all ingredients and participates in menu development to optimize the nutritional value of their snacks and perfect portion sizes. This latest investment will driven the expansion of their business, where Koala Picks has already started scaling up after moving to a bigger facility in June 2021. The new production space has given them 410m of extra space at 500sqm in comparison to their old facility of 90sqm.
In addition, the brand will invest in new equipment to increase automation and minimize labor work, revamp their current website, expand the Koala Picks team, and upgrade their current packaging. Ahmed Mobasher, co-founder of Koala Picks concluded “The market is full of opportunities, and we are very excited to be investing in resources and creating new products to meet the demand. We’re all super optimistic for what the future holds, and we can’t wait to bring more innovative, nutritious snacks and products to the market.”
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