MarkaVIP, an ecommerce company that operates an eponymous private sales club in the Middle East, has landed $5 million in Series A funding led by Lumia Capital with participation from NYC-based Invus Financial Advisors. The capital will be used to boost sales and marketing efforts and to support regional expansion throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
MarkaVIP was founded in Jordan by CEO Ahmed Alkhatib and CTO Amer Abulaila in November 2010. Early investors include former Yahoo VP Usama Fayyad and former US ambassador Karim Kawar, along with Hummingbird Ventures and Turkish serial entrepreneur Çağlar Erol.
MarkaVIP, which has adapted the flash sales model popularized by companies like Vente Privée and Gilt, has attracted 700,000 registered users to date, with up to 5,000 more joining per day.
MarkaVIP is currently available in the GCC, Jordan and Lebanon and employs 120 people across six offices in Beirut, Dubai, Amman, Istanbul, Antwerp and San Francisco.
Author: Robin Wauters