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UAE-based E-commerce startup and luxury brand platform The List has successfully $3.5M in its latest funding round. The SEED round, announced after the launch of their new mobile app, was backed by a strategic group of investors including American Designer and Rachel Zoe, who is both an investor and advisor to the New York-based company.
Launched in 2016 with offices in Dubai and Lisbon, The List works with global retailers and resellers to provide a marketplace for luxury and hard-to-find items. After success in scaling their E-commerce platform, the list is delving into social commerce with a modern app that allows direct interaction between users and retailers as well as helps brands set up their online fronts seamlessly.
Following a 3-year consecutive growth in funding for E-commerce startups in MENA, 2021 marked the highest yearly record for VC investment in the digital sector, raising more than double the funds raised in 2019. The E-commerce industry across the region has made big strides over the years, developing into and digitizing almost every market category. Of the stellar E-commerce rounds raised this year crowned by Egypt-based MaxAB and Capiter, startups have been running successful ventures focusing on one category, like UAE-based Seez and MySyara focusing on the automotive market, JOI gifts and Floward focusing on gifts and special items, and The List, The Luxury Closet, and Nejree Close exploring Fashion and Luxury commerce as a go-to-market offering. Along with funding growth in supporting sectors of digitization like FinTech (180% YoY in 2021) and Transport & Logistics (40% YoY in 2021), the E-commerce sector in MENA seems ready for next-generation integrations.
Its new app is an extension of the marketplace, merging content, social networking, and live commerce. Capitalizing on the newfound affinity for social media interaction and livestreams, the new app integrated such features, allowing users to follow their favorite brands, interact through livestream, request in-store trials and buy their favorite products instantly. In a conversation with TechCrunch, The List founder and CEO Andreas Skorski highlighted “The foundation of our business is to help retail stores and brands join the e-commerce wave that is happening. We built machine learning and computer vision into the supply chain so they can plug and play into a store. We also have multiple APIs to sync and digitalize inventory to create a product catalog.”
On the seller side of the app, you can set up a digital store in minutes and determine how their brand and products will be presented and promoted. The List takes care of the entire fulfillment process, including insurance, taxes, and duties, as well as store-to-door express delivery to 190 countries. The UAE-based E-commerce startup will be channeling its newly acquired funds to grow its team and expand into new markets following sizable revenue growth and monthly records in 2021. Skorski concluded “Digital sales have taken a dominant role, much like how restaurants have iPads at tables,” Skorski said. “The same will happen in the retail space, and it will be a matter of who gets there faster. We are creating this world to enable true storytelling in its best form.”
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