Kuwaiti beauty e-commerce platform Boutiqaat is looking to raise fresh funds at a valuation of up to USD 1 billion, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday. The report said that the Kuwaiti company has hired Citigroup to explore strategic options, including a partial sale of the business and fundraising.
Boutiqaat’s valuation hit USD 500 million last year after one of its first investors, Boubyan, sold a small part of its stake in a secondary transaction. The group had invested USD 45 million in Boutiqaat in January 2018 at a reported valuation of USD 250 million.
According to Bloomberg, Boutiqaat is now seeking a valuation between USD 700 million and USD 1 billion. The publication spoke to three unnamed sources, two of which have told it that the company is looking for a valuation of about USD 700 million, while the third one said it is targeting USD 1 billion.
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The report also said that the discussions are at the early stage and the company hasn’t reached any potential investors yet. If it ends up raising money at a billion-dollar valuation, it will become the Middle East and North Africa’s third and Kuwait’s first unicorn. Dubai-based Careem and Emerging Markets Property Group are the first two unicorns of the region.
The Kuwaiti e-commerce platform, which is built around social media influencers, sells over 25,000 beauty and fashion products from more than 700 international brands.
The influencers set up virtual boutiques on Boutiqaat, where they add their favorite products, allowing their fans and other customers to easily browse through curated selections of products and make purchases. Boutiqaat takes care of the entire transaction.
Boutiqaat started with products for women, but expanded to include men’s fashion last year.
This article first appeared on MENAbytes.