Melltoo, a UAE-based online marketplace for used items and liquidation, has closed its Pre-Series A round, co-led by China’s Gobi Partners and Saudi-based Khwarizmi Ventures, the corporate VC of Kadi Group, a Saudi holding company that owns and runs different businesses including one of country’s leading logistics company Zajil, UAE-based Shorooq Partners, and some angel investors including Dr. Khalid Al-Tawil.
This is Gobi’s second investment in the Middle East & North Africa who had invested in Dubai-based travel startup HolidayMe late last year.
Founded in 2014 by Morrad Irsane and Sharene Lee, a husband-and-wife duo, Melltoo enables users to sell their used items on its online marketplace, taking care of all the logistics. The buyer and seller don’t have to meet for the sale to take place. Melltoo, according to the statement, now also enables ecommerce platforms and corporates to liquidate their old retail stock and used company electronics through its marketplace.
Melltoo’s co-founder and CEO Morrad Irsane, in a conversation with MENAbytes, said that they already have tens of companies on-board with them that are liquidating their used company electronics including laptops and mobile phones through Melltoo’s platform. Both Melltoo and the companies split the revenue generated from the sale of these items.
The ecommerce platforms, Morrad added, are also liquidating fashion and makeup products using Melltoo’s marketplace.
Sharene Lee, the co-founder of Melltoo, speaking about their liquidation service, said, said, “Since launching it, we’ve grown transactions 300% and are on track to quadruple our GMV by the end of the year. We’ve increased the number of sellers 6x in the past 6 months and have on-boarded over 30 e-commerce and corporate clients who liquidate through the platform.”
The UAE-based startup has expanded to Saudi with the launch of its platform in Riyadh and is in the process of setting up a warehouse and hiring a local team.
Thomas G. Tsao, Chairman and Founding Partner of Gobi, commenting on the occasion, said, “We have seen similar startups in China and ASEAN that have achieved success with this strategy. Furthermore, Melltoo as a TaqwaTech (a term Gobi uses for startups that offer products and services to Muslim population) company is catering their services to an underserved market and are solving the biggest issue most GCC e-commerce companies face on an annual basis. We are looking forward to seeing how their business will take off in the Kingdom.”
Melltoo will use the funds raised in this round for its expansion efforts in UAE and Saudi.
Update – Sep 30, 2019 – 10:10 AM GMT: The story was updated with more details after our conversation with Melltoo’s team.