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Middle East E-commerce Firm Jollychic Raises USD 65 Million in Series C+
COVID-19 and China
Jollychic in Dubai. Image cedit: Jollychic

The Middle East E-commerce company Jollychic, a Zhiyu (执御) owned company, raised USD 65 million in Series C+ strategic financing from Group 42, a United Arab Emirates artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing company based in Abu Dhabi, Reported Ebrun on August 5.

Jollychic is an e-commerce platform selling apparels and accessories in the Middle East. Founded in 2012, Jollychic entered the Middle East market in 2014. Dated now, it has more than 3,500 employees worldwide. In the past seven years, Jollychic received six rounds of financing.

In the first half of 2019, there were five e-commerce platform or said online marketplace investments with deal value more than USD 5 million observed in the Middle East region. Three out of five of these deals were occurred in the U.A.E. E-commerce-related businesses, including but not limited to advertising, payment solution, research optimization, are trending up in the U.A.E.

E-commerce investments reached a peak in 2016 with a deal count of 1,340, observed by Crunchbase. The U.A.E.’s e-commerce investment frequency ranking ascended from 2014’s fourth place in the Middle East to current second place – the first place was occupied by Israel – with a deal count of 61 in the first half.

KPMG reported that Africa & the Middle East’s percentage of online purchases imported from other regions was 50% in 2017 and as to the U.A.E, the number was as high as 58% for the same period. 80% of these imported goods came from Asia, North America, and Western Europe.

The growth of the Chinese e-commerce market reflects on the rise of Alibaba’s business empire, whose e-commerce revenue in the fiscal year 2019 surpassed USD 48,188 million. Alibaba group originated from a pure online marketplace to present e-commerce, cloud service, and financial service body. Its e-commerce followers like JD.com and Pinduoduo subsequently went public on the Nasdaq stock market.

The rapid e-commerce development in China and the performance of e-commerce benchmark company Amazon brought a positive signal to surrounding regions like Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East. E-commerce startups came in clusters and waves.

Some of these e-commerce startups and unicorns like India largest e-commerce platform Flipkart were founded by local entrepreneurs, while some are founded by Chinese like Jollychic. Chinese e-commerce model was duplicated and reformatted to adapt markets in Southeast Asia and other regions.

The development of e-commerce demands well-built infrastructures such as road network, logistics construction, Internet accessibility, and free trade. The Middle East and South Asia have the soil to breed the next e-commerce giant in their regions.

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