UAE e-com platform AWOK gears up for expansion following AED110-million financing
UAE mass market e-commerce platform AWOK.com has closed its first external round of financing to pursue its ambitious regional growth plans, achieving US $30-million (AED110-million).
The financing round was jointly led by StonePine ACE Partners out of its StonePine ACE Fund – a joint venture between StonePine Capital Partners and ACE & Company SA – and Al Faisaliah Ventures, the newly created Corporate Ventures Capital arm of Al Faisaliah Group.
Both are top tier regional investment companies. The deal is being co-invested in by globally renowned investment group Endeavor Catalyst.
The new capital raised will be mainly used for further geographical expansion into Saudi Arabia, to enhance the AWOK platform empowered by technology development, and to increase AWOK’s offering across multiple product categories.
“These are truly exciting times for Awok and its entire ecosystem,” said Ulugbek Yuldashev, founder and CEO of AWOK.com. “We founded AWOK.com in 2013 and have been pioneers in servicing a previously untapped segment of the market with a unique product selection.”
Ulugbek Yuldashev, founder and CEO of AWOK.com
“Our success was built on providing our customers with the best experience we could, and with this round of financing we will be able to provide an even better experience to an even larger market,” he added.
AWOK.com said in a release that it plans to increase its team, attracting global talent and raising the level of customer experience and after sales support.
In the near future, AWOK will also scale its operations across key growth markets in the GCC countries and North Africa.
Youssef Haidar, founder and CEO of StonePine Capital Partners and head of the StonePine ACE Fund, said he was excited to help AWOK.com accelerate its growth.
“What has been achieved by Ulugbek and his core team at AWOK.com with the resources they had is nothing short from outstanding,” he said.
“Not many companies, even amongst the well-known success stories we celebrate in the region, have shown such a level of resourcefulness and outstanding execution with no external funding.”
“The e-commerce space in the region is set for exponential growth in the coming years. AWOK.com is ideally positioned to capitalize on that growth and further establish itself as one of the leading platforms for buyers and sellers in KSA and overall MENA region,” added Alejandro Carbon, chief portfolio officer of Al Faisaliah Ventures.
“The Al Faisaliah Ventures team scanned the market for the best end-to-end e-commerce capabilities - from sourcing to last-mile delivery – and found AWOK.com is the right player to become the next unicorn while supporting small and medium retailers in the region entering online space through AWOK.com marketplace platform.”