Boksha, an online marketplace for independent fashion designers with a focus on Khaleeji styles, has secured US$1 million from a group of investors. The group of investors includes Sandooq Al Watan and family offices.
Founded in 2018, Boksha has 800 boutiques and more than 15,000 products, such as abayas, kaftans, travel wear, and dresses, listed on its platform. Yahya Mohamed Saleh, co-founder and CEO, says that 90% of the designers presented on the platform are UAE-based, with the majority of them being women between 18 and 35 of age.
"We provide designers with a wide range of online and offline services so that they can focus on what they do best- designing,” says Saleh. "A designer on the platform can be someone running their businesses from home, or someone with their own studios and retail shop, and Boksha differentiates itself from other online fashion websites by not selling any global brands, hence, designers are keen to join the platform. Our product offering is unique, custom-made, and is from creative local talent.”
The name-Boksha, is derived from an Arab Gulf dialect, referring to a piece of fabric traditionally used as a pouch or head carrier by female merchants for the storage of their garments and goods. The company aims to empower the region’s independent fashion designers by providing technology in order to help them to expand their reach and become global players in the industry.
“We provide designers with their own unique shop front on the website and the app, with a backend to manage orders and financials,” Saleh explains. "We also see ourselves as a one-stop shop for the designers where we provide customer service to shoppers, delivery, photography, videography, and access to events. Finally, we don’t operate on a consignment model; items are picked up from boutiques on demand."
Boksha ships to more than 40 countries worldwide, including the GCC, USA, UK, France, Australia, and Canada, with Saleh noting that approximately 70% of sales are international. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that Boksha has been recognized by investors as a largely scalable business. Indeed, the Boksha team aims to utilize the seed funds to scale up operationally, and further invest into its technology in order to enter new markets in the GCC region.
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