Investments

Dubai’s Eyewa raises fresh funds from General Atlantic for its omnichannel eyewear platform: report

Dubai-based eyewear startup has quietly raised fresh funds from the leading US private equity firm General Atlantic, The Information reported on Tuesday. The investment in Eyewa was made earlier this year but hasn’t been publicly announced by the firm yet. The specifics of the round, including size and other investors (if any) are not immediately clear.

The most recent investment round publicly disclosed was a $21 million Series B, led by Kingsway and Nuwa Capital, which the company secured in June 2021.

Eyewa has experienced substantial growth since then, expanding its network of stores to over 120, nearly 100 of which are in Saudi Arabia. The startup opened its first store in 2021 in Dahran.

Mehdi Oudghiri, the co-founder and co-CEO of Eyewa had told MENAbytes in a previous interview that they expanded into retail to be as close as possible to their customers, “We started as an ecommerce company because that is where the biggest market gap was, as no one was offering high-quality and affordable eyewear products online with a good customer experience. Expanding our reach to offline will complement our strong online presence and cement our position as a leading player in the eyewear industry.”

Founded in 2017 by Mehdi Oudghiri and Anass Boumediene, Eyewa sells eyewear, including prescription glasses, sunglasses, blue light glasses, color contact lenses, and corrective contact lenses, through its website, mobile apps, and retail stores. The startup sells glasses and lenses from its in-house brands; Blackout, Layala, and 30Sundays, plus international fashion brands like Hugo, Tommy Hilfiger, and Guess.

It currently sells its products across GCC, with both retail and online presence in all six markets of the region. According to its website, Eyewa is the largest online eyewear retailer in the region.

Eyewa is General Atlantic’s second investment in the region. The PE firm has previously invested in Property Finder by leading a $120 million round in the proptech statrtup in 2018.

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