DUBAI: Nuwa Capital has announced its first investment since its launch in February 2020. The firm has joined Wamda Capital and EQ2 Ventures in eyewa’s pre-Series B bridge round. Since the company’s launch in 2017, eyewa has raised a total of US$11.1 million.
Nuwa Capital’s vision is to support financially, strategically and operationally, founders reshaping the markets they operate in, with a specific focus on retail in the form of DTC (Direct-to-Consumer), Rapidly Digitizing Industries (RDI) such as healthcare, proptech, fintech, as well as SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). “We’ve built our thesis around backing founders who are driving rapid transformation within their respective industries and building for long term change, and that’s exactly what Anass and Mehdi are doing,” said managing partner Khaled Talhouni.
Primed for a post-pandemic world
The fund’s investment in eyewa is predicated on its strong belief in a founding team with a unique track record, operating in a space that has greatly transformed over the past decade.
The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have seen scores of new customers transacting online for the first time, leading to an irreversible generational shift towards online purchasing.
“E-commerce companies with a DTC offering like eyewa are reinventing the retail experience by creating both an online and offline experience to interact with customers while remaining nimble enough to scale and optimize as needed. DTC remains one of the most under-leveraged opportunities in our region,” said Talhouni.
“Our success in the past three years has been driven by our efforts to disrupt the traditional eyewear industry in the region. We offer exclusive and trendy yet affordable eyewear coupled with best in class customer experience,” said eyewa co-founder Mehdi Oudghiri.
Eyewa saw its business double during the lockdown
“Eyewa has rapidly become the leading contender in the eyewear retail space, competing with both digital and traditional retailers. This is a very fitting first investment for us, as we are uniquely positioned to help accelerate the company’s growth across MENA and particularly in KSA,” said Talhouni.
“Khaled and the team are veterans of the ecosystem in the region and are bringing a new approach to VC investment with Nuwa Capital. We are very excited to have them part of the eyewa family,” said Oudghiri.
The company saw a surge in new customers looking for a better shopping experience and a more accessible, diverse line of products.
The founders will use the capital towards growth and to further cement their position as the leading online retailer in their segment.
Nuwa Capital is a Dubai and Riyadh-based investment platform that brings together leading entrepreneurs, domain expertise, and an unparalleled track record in venture capital in emerging markets. The fund delivers a founder-led, value creation approach to venture investment. The team has built Nuwa Capital’s model around founders, and a strategic mentorship network scheme designed to encourage founders to support its portfolio companies. The fund is led by Khaled Talhouni, Sarah Abu Risheh and Stephanie Nour Prince.
eyewa (link to eyewa.com/ae-en/ for UAE and eyewa.com/sa-ar/ for KSA) is the largest eyewear e-commerce retailer in the GCC, founded by Anass Boumediene and Mehdi Oudghiri. Launched in 2017, eyewa’s vision is to simplify the eyewear shopping experience by providing an easy, affordable and trustworthy platform for sunglasses, prescription glasses and contact lenses.