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Middle East-based Joi Gifts raises $2.5m in Series A VC funding

Online gifts platform Joi Gifts has raised $2.5 million in a Series A venture capital funding round, which will be used to fuel regional and international expansion. The round was led by Knuru Capital, a Dubai-based venture capital firm specialising in the fintech industry and consumer marketplaces, joined by Dubai-based investor MENA Moonshots and Wa’ed,

Online gifts platform Joi Gifts has raised $2.5 million in a Series A venture capital funding round, which will be used to fuel regional and international expansion.

The round was led by Knuru Capital, a Dubai-based venture capital firm specialising in the fintech industry and consumer marketplaces, joined by Dubai-based investor MENA Moonshots and Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Aramco.

It comes at a time of rapid expansion for Joi Gifts, which entered its eighth country earlier this year, achieving operating-profitability amidst a five-fold increase in sales.

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“We are thrilled with this investment, which enables Joi Gifts to further enhance and improve what is already the MENA region’s leading online one-stop shop for gifts,” said Rami Kahale, CEO of Joi Gifts.

“We are passionate about providing the best offering for customers in every market we operate in, and this new vote of confidence from our investors gives us the resources to deliver on our quality commitment,” he continued.

Joi Gifts will use the funding injection to drive short-term growth through awareness campaigns, customer acquisition, product development and further regional expansion, said Kahale.

Countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the GCC have the highest average spend on gifts globally, according to Enhance Ventures, which values the MENA region’s gifting industry at roughly $28 billion, growing more than 30 percent each year, representing a significant opportunity for Joi Gifts.

Enhance Ventures, which Joi Gifts is a product of, is a venture capital studio that builds online marketplaces across the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Turkey.

From L to R: Mohammed AlHokail, Alper Celen (standing), Rami Kahale and Ritesh Tilani.

Victor Sunyer, partner at Knuru Capital, said: “We’ve been impressed by the Joi Gifts team’s focus on growth while staying lean. They have managed to build a business with very favourable unit economics and scaled it regionally with just a seed round of funding. This is the hallmark of a strong team, and we are excited to partner with them on this journey.”

“The gifts industry is extremely well-suited to the Saudi market, and we see significant potential for Joi Gifts in the kingdom. With the platform’s strong offering and focus on customer experience, we believe the Joi team is well positioned here,” said Fahad Alidi, managing director of Wa’ed.

Mohammad AlHokail, partner at Enhance Ventures, said: “With Joi’s first independent round of funding, Enhance has successfully spun off Joi and validated the opportunity for venture building under a studio set-up in the region. With its highly capital-efficient structure based on sharing and collaboration, venture studios represent a new asset class that can offer higher returns in shorter time frames.”

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