UAE-based Boksha, an online marketplace for independent fashion designers, has raised $1 million it will use to scale and enter new markets in the region, starting with other GCC countries.
The funds were raised from a group of investors including UAE social initiative Sandooq Al Watan and family offices, Boksha said in a statement on Monday (June 7).
This is Boksha's first-ever fundraising after being bootstrapped since its launch in 2018.
The marketplace has offered over 15,000 SKUs from over 800 designers and shipped to over 40 countries, said the company.
Boksha focuses on Khaleeji, or Gulf, fashion, including abayas, kaftans, and headscarves.
Co-founder and CEO Yahya Mohamed Saleh said that more than 90% of designers on Boksha are Emirati females between the ages of 18 and 35.
E-commerce in the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council is experiencing a very active and buoyant period as shoppers become accustomed to online shopping after COVID lockdowns shuttered brick and mortar stores for most of last year.
Most recently, UK fast fashion e-commerce PrettyLittleThing launched in April a modest wear collection on its new Arabic site targeting the GCC.
As an indication of fashion e-commerce growth in the region, Namshi, a major regional site owned by Dubai's Emaar Malls, reported a 28% rise in sales in 2020, with revenues from Saudi Arabia up by 50%.
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