Kuwaiti beauty ecommerce startup Boutiqaat doubles valuation to $500 million in 18 months with latest investment

Boutiqaat, the leading Kuwaiti beauty ecommerce startup has doubled its valuation to $500 million in eighteen months after raising an undisclosed amount of investment from a Gulf-based investment firm, different local media outlets reported yesterday. Abdulwahab Alessa, the founder and CEO of Boutiqaat confirmed the development to a Kuwaiti publication Alrai, without disclosing the size of the deal and name of investor. He also retweeted a couple of tweets by other users confirming the news.

With this valuation and Uber’s acquisition of Careem, Boutiqaat with Property Finder is now the most valuable technology startup of the Middle East & North Africa.

Founded in 2015, Boutiqaat had raised $45 million from Boubyan Petrochemical Company, a Kuwaiti company with investments in different sectors including petrochemicals, manufacturing, healthcare and education, in January last year. At the time, it was reported that the investment came at a valuation between $250 to 300 million. Abdulwahab has now confirmed that the valuation when Boutiqaat made the investment was about $250 million.

Boubyan, the first investor in the company, has sold a part of its stake to the new investor, it announced in a different statement.

Boutiqaat’s platform through its website and mobile app, sells over 25,000 beauty and fashion products from more than 700 international brands. What makes it different is the fact from other regional beauty ecommerce platforms is the fact that it’s built around social media influencers. The influencers have their virtual boutiques (stores) on Boutiqaat where they add their favorite products, allowing their fans and other customers to easily browse through these curated selections of products and buy whatever they like. Boutiqaat takes care of the entire transaction.

The company has poached talent from many leading players of the regional technology ecosystem in the last twelve months who are now leading different functions at Boutiqaat. This includes Nitin Reen, a former Wamda Capital and Rocket Internet executive, who according to his LinkedIn, is serving Boutiqaat as Managing Director; Motaz Nofal, the Chief Operating Officer who was previously with Wamda Capital and Aramex; Fadi Bachir, the CHRO – was prev. CHRO of Delivery Hero MENA, and Junaid Ali Qureshi, the CTO who co-founded Dubai-based fashion ecommerce platform Elabez and served it as CTO until joining Boutiqaat late last year.

It is not immediately clear if Boutiqaat plans to use the latest funds for its expansion but after raising $45 million from Boubyan last year, company’s CEO had said that they have plans to expand to Asia, Europe, and the United States.

We’ve reached out to Boutiqaat to learn more details and will update the story if we hear from them. 

Hat tip: @Omar Kassim

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