UAE-based Content Startup Splashlight Studios raises $1M SEED
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Splashlight Studios, UAE’s youngest e-commerce digital solutions provider has raised a SEED funding round capped at $1M from Eagle Ventures, a Dubai-based fund managed by Adit Mehta and Hitesh Ajmera. Backbay Advisors was the financial advisor to Splashlight Studios on the transaction. Set up in 2020, Splashlight Studios works on the intersection of fashion and technology. It aims to both empower brands as they take their first steps into e-commerce as well as provide competitive solutions to established brands looking to expand their footprints.
As observed in our Q3 2021 EVM E-commerce Venture Investment Report, MENA witnessed the most equitable distribution of funds amongst E-commerce
startups as 43% of the capital invested were raised by startups outside of the largest five rounds. In Q3 YTD 2021, the proportion of foreign investors that funded MENA-based E-commerce ventures were the highest it has ever been (30%). However, Egyptian firm Flat6Labs closed the most E-commerce deals by Q3 2021.
The retail industry is evolving in Iraq, and consumer behavior has shifted from shopping in physical stores to purchasing online. A few years ago, Iraqi consumers started buying products online via social media platforms, which usually involved a lot of fraud and risk. Seeing a gap in the market for a trusted local e-commerce platform site, Orisdi was founded in 2019, providing Iraq’s consumers with a one-stop-shop for competitively priced products. They offered a reliable delivery and returns policy, a trustworthy and user-friendly platform, and leading customer service. Ahmed Al Kiremli, Co-Founder & CEO of Orisdi says, “Al Sharqiya’s partnership with Orisdi is a significant and strategic milestone for us. It will enhance our standing with both customers and investors and will open new doors in terms of exposure and awareness from millions of Al Sharqiya’s viewers across its TV and digital platforms that will generate new customer segments and scale our sales.”
As the E-commerce industry is still relatively new in Iraq, Orisdi is paving the way with its offerings, focusing on being a customer-centric company and extending its customer lifetime value. Orisdi was the first platform in the Iraqi market to focus on creating a great customer experience and offering 48 hours return & exchange policy with no shipping fee to ensure that the customer has a better shopping experience and to close the gap of the customers who lack trust in online shopping in Iraq. Ali Al Suhail, the Network Manager for the Iraqi Angel Investors Network commented: “As KAPITA, we are very happy to see leading Iraqi businesses investing in local startups, Iraq holds huge potential as a digital market but capital will be critical in unlocking this potential.”
As part of its investment, Al Sharqiya will promote Orisdi’s brand through regular TV spots, across its social media pages, in addition to complimentary coverage of Orisdi and the E-commerce, technology, digital innovation, and general business startup scene in Iraq on Al Sharqiya’s suite of reality TV shows, and news programming. This investment will give the Iraq-based E-commerce platform the right growth capital and support to further develop its platform and grow its market share. Mohsen Khairaldin, Managing Director for Investments at Al Sharqiya Group concluded “we are delighted to partner with Orisdi as part of our growing interest in supporting the digital start-up sector in Iraq and the vital contributions private-sector companies can make towards solving day-to-day challenges for Iraqis. As one of Iraq’s leading and fastest-growing E-commerce players, we believe that Orisdi provides a valuable service that more Iraqis can benefit from as awareness of its brand increases over time”.
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