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Delivering Success

Last month Dubai-based beauty subscription service, GlamBox Middle East, announced that it had been acquired by a Saudi Arabia based consortium of investors. While the exact financial details of the sale remain undisclosed, the deal

Last month Dubai-based beauty subscription service, GlamBox Middle East, announced that it had been acquired by a Saudi Arabia based consortium of investors. While the exact financial details of the sale remain undisclosed, the deal marks a significant milestone for the company that started back in 2012 by cofounders Shant Oknayan, Fares Akkad, Christos Mastoras and Marc Ghobriel, as a small business that has seen its value skyrocket!

With rapid growth and a clear exit strategy, the company is the kind of success story that every MENA start-up dreams of. Which brings us to the question, why has GlamBox been so successful? And why are numerous me-tools like ChicLiving box, and Spinkso box not even in the same league? It all comes down to the fact of partnerships.

GlamBox has partnered with more than two-hundred brands, that include house-hold names such as; Benefit, Givenchy, L’Oréal Paris, Maybelline, L’Occitane, to Philosophy, Dermalogica and Nivea, as well as shining the spot light on various niche, local brands such as Herbal Essentials, Davines, Ciare, Alterna, Missha and many more. Korean brand, Missha, for example, used GlamBox to enter the MENA market. “We combined the sampling with an event, which resulted in customer participation and feedback” says Alfiya Saifuddin of Fakhree Al Hindi Group, which launched the company in the middle east. “It gave us a great introduction into a new market.”

We are excited about GlamBox’s next phase of growth and regional expansion,” says CEO Matthieu Guinard. 

As is so often the case in business, for GlamBox, timing was a large factor in the company’s success. “We saw an opportunity in e-commerce at a time when the industry was still very nascent in MENA”, says the company’s co-founder Fares Akkad, currently Head of Media Partnerships at Facebook for Middle East and Africa. “The space is now booming with the entrance of large players, such as Amazon via its acquisition of Souq.com, and the digitization of traditional retail groups.”

And it seems that the sale will be just the start for the company. “We Are excited about GlamBox’s next phase of growth and regional expansion,” says CEO Matthieu Guinard, who joined GlamBox in 2016, and has since launched a series of new initiatives including a Men’s Grooming subscription service and a GlamBox App- all of which has contributed to the company’s subscriber base growing five-fold over the past year.

Prior to being sold, GlamBox had collected more than $4 million in venture capital funding from regional investors incusing SRC Ventures, MBC Ventures, R&R Ventures and KSA strategic investors, and the sale sees the founders, as well as STC, MBC, R&R all selling their stakes to the Saudi consortium.

The KSA consortium which has acquired GlamBox, brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, particularly in Saudi Arabia, which is the region’s largest beauty market.

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