By Sindhu Hariharan / Entrepreneur Middle East - Image Credit : The List
THE LIST, the Middle East luxury e-commerce platform, has raised US$1.7 million investment in a seed round from local and European VC firms and investors to get ready for its next phase of growth. Due to confidentiality reasons the names of investors remain undisclosed by the company though THE LIST founder and CEO Andreas Skorski says the funding will be used “to further strengthen our technology development and build an entire m-commerce ecosystem.” Skorski adds that, “specifically, we will invest in developing our mobile solutions, and use AI-based personalization and machine-learning elements in order to further optimize our customer experience and increase the efficiency and effectivity of our initiatives,” Moreover, the e-commerce startup is also in the process of opening their technology hub in Lisbon- an objective they aim to achieve in the second quarter.
According to a statement by the company, THE LIST brings curated luxury products from global boutiques to the Middle East- thus enabling customers to shop straight from the streets of Paris, London, Milan, New York, Moscow or Tokyo. In this way, the platform enables physical stores to transform into e-commerce companies and reach customers worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, which finds a place among the fastest growing markets for luxury goods. Starting off with a marketplace model, THE LIST (founded in March 2016 by Skorski) initially was a digital platform connecting retailers and customers, but then pivoted to handle the entire payment and logistics as Skorski noticed that certain brands and products were either not available in the Middle East or only at marked up prices, and also that global luxury retailers were slow in jumping on to the e-commerce bandwagon.