Joi Gifts, the MENAPT region’s largest online gifts marketplace, announced today it has raised $1 million in pre-Series B funding from UAE-based Panthera Capital and leading regional and international angel investors. Panthera is a VC & PE firm based in Dubai and is the investment arm of Fujairah Holding.
Joi Gifts is a product of the regional venture studio, Enhance Ventures. The announcement of the latest funding round comes shortly after the company raised a Series A of $2.5 million late last year from Knuru Capital, MENA Moonshots and Wa’ed Ventures, the venture investments arm of Saudi Aramco. Since then, the business has grown at an accelerating pace, with revenue doubling over just the past 4 months, while the company continues to experience double-digit growth month-on-month.
Joi Gifts also introduced its Express Gift Delivery service earlier this year, offering customers in Riyadh, Dubai and Amman an extensive selection of gifts at their loved ones’ doorsteps in under 90 minutes. In addition, the company has been investing in product innovation and pushing boundaries in the world of gifting globally. This past Valentine’s Day, for instance, Joi Gifts became the first gifts marketplace to offer customers the ability to send NFTs to their loved ones, while paying for them using just their credit cards.
Rami Kahale, CEO of Joi Gifts, said the online marketplace would use the funding injection to strengthen its position as the leading gifting marketplace in the region. The company will invest in marketing to make the brand a household name and will continue to expand its core offering within categories such as toys and gifts for kids, beauty and personal care, jewellery and accessories, and homeware. At the same time, it will continue to innovate on new product categories like the recently launched NFTs, and new customer experiences like augmented reality and Express Delivery.
Countries such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the GCC have the highest average spend on gifts globally, based on research by Enhance Ventures, which values the MENA region’s gifting industry at roughly $28 billion. This rapid growth represents a significant opportunity for Joi Gifts. To deliver a truly best-in-class memorable customer experience, Joi Gifts delivers its gifts through delivery agents dressed in concierge-style uniforms, and if the sender wishes, these ‘Agents of Joi’ can also sing an appropriate song for each occasion.
“The investment we have received in this round allows us to further enhance and improve what is already the MENA region’s leading online one-stop shop for both digital and physical gifts,” Kahale said. “We are passionate about providing the best offering for customers in every market we operate in, and this vote of confidence from our incoming investors gives us the resources to deliver on our quality commitment.”
Sonali Goila, Head of Venture Capital & Private Equity at Panthera Capital, said: "Panthera constantly looks for niche investment opportunities in tech-enabled, scalable startups targeting multiple emerging markets. We have been impressed by the Joi Gifts team's focus on lean growth and innovation. We believe Joi Gifts’ unique offering and differentiated customer experience are what it takes to succeed in the region, and we look forward to playing an active role in their next phase of growth."
"The MENAPT region is experiencing consistent growth - with existing merchants looking for online sales opportunities and a diverse set of customers with an appetite to shop online," commented Kahale. "The region is set to witness an acceleration in online gifting. Thanks to the support and trust of our investors in the model and our business, we’re excited to capitalize on this opportunity and continue to scale the business."