e-Commerce startup Opontia has announced that it has closed a Series A round at $42 million. The announcement comes just months after the company raised $20 million in debt and equity to acquire older, small e-commerce brands in the Middle East and Africa. The funding round was led by STV and saw the participation of VentureSouq, Upper90, Global Founders Capital and Raed Ventures. San Francisco-based venture debt fund Partners for Growth funded Opontia’s debt financing. Salman Butt of Salla and Wiktor Namysl of McKinsey Poland were angel investors who participated in the round.
With the funding, Opontia will be purchasing more e-Commerce brands in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and in Africa. When Opontia launched, its initial focus was on the Middle East and African market but this has somewhat changed as the past few months have seen the startup focus on only some parts of its target markets such as the UAE, Saudia Arabia, Central and Eastern Europe.
Speaking on why the company’s focus has been fixated on only a few markets such as Poland and has not yet dived into Africa’s endless opportunities, co-founder and co-CEO Philip Johnston said that “There is opportunity there; it’s just not the biggest markets. Poland is six times the size of Egypt, for example, in terms of e-commerce spend. We’re definitely going to Africa; we just are doing the biggest markets first. So if you have to prioritize, you go for the market that’s the biggest and then you work your way down. In terms of the biggest markets for us, it’s Poland, Turkey, Saudi, UAE, Nigeria, after that is Egypt and Pakistan.”
“I think when one of our unique values is we are building like a house of brands on our omnichannel setup. So compared to Thrasio, which is fully focusing on FBA, we focus on three different sales channels — marketplaces, website, Shopify and social commerce,” co-founder and co-CEO Manfred Meyer added.
Speaking on why brands see getting acquired by Opontia as a good option, Opontia’s founders said that “Opontia exists because we realized that there are many e-commerce entrepreneurs in CEEMEA who have grown their brands to a certain point but now need help to take it to the next level. We give the founder an attractive exit, while also giving them a share in the future growth in the profit of the brand as we scale them rapidly”.
While Opontia has hired a former Jumia executive as its Vice President of Operations, the company plans to acquire 20 more brands across Europe and the Middle East in the next six months with $30 million out of the total money it raised.