UAE’s Namshi plans to expand into Lebanon

E-commerce firm receives $13m in fresh investment, plots MENA expansion
By Daniel Shane
Tue 14 May 2013 09:41 AM

UAE e-commerce firm Namshi will expand into Lebanon within the next month after receiving $13m in fresh investment.

The web company, which specialises in fashion and lifestyle retail, announced the additional funding from growth equity firm Summit Partners on Monday. The investment follows prior capital injections of more than $20m from the likes of JP Morgan Chase, Blakeney Management and Investment AB Kinnevik.

The cash will be used to open a new logistics centre in Dubai, which will allow Namshi to run its own distribution network, rather than rely on third party delivery providers such as Aramex.

“We were about to launch Lebanon right before the warehouse move, but we decided to hold off until that was done, so we see ourselves launching in Lebanon in the next month or so,” co-founder and managing director Hosam Arab told Arabian Business via telephone.

Arab added that Namshi, which was founded in 2011 offers more than 550 brands, could then seek expansion into additional geographies in the Middle East and North Africa. “Then as we learn from that we will be open to additional markets as well,” he said.

Arab said that the company was in talks with investors for additional funding, but would not specify how much these deals were likely to be worth or when they would be concluded. “We’re currently speaking to a few, both regionally and globally. We’re open to additional funds. We will only taking on funds that are required,” he added.

E-commerce sales in the Middle East are thought to be worth as much as $11bn per year, according to Jordanian consultancy Arab Advisors Group.

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