Thursday 6 August 2020
 
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Lumina helps Mideast investors close key equity funding deal

DUBAI, 9 days ago

Dubai-based Lumina Capital Advisers, a specialist mid-market M&A firm, has announced the successful completion of a follow-on equity funding round from a consortium of regional investors into UK-based Amara Living. 
 
Founded in 2005 by Andrew and Sam Hood, Amara sells over 25,000 products from a range of leading homewares brands including Missoni, Versace, and Jo Malone London. Over 50% of sales are now from international markets, mainly US and Europe.
 
The company recently expanded its distribution footprint to the Middle East, which is a key growth market with strong consumer demand for online access to Amara’s wide portfolio of aspirational homewares and curated gifts sourced from around the world. 
 
The deal, which comes following the initial April closing, reflects the rapid growth of the company during Q2. The Lumina team, consisting of Andrew Nichol, Gareth Williams and Feico Boonstra, lead-advised the regional group of investors.
 
The growth of e-commerce has been massively accelerated by the global pandemic and has attracted global, and regional, investment. 
 
A survey by Ernst & Young (EY) conducted earlier in May revealed that 92% of consumers in the UAE and KSA have changed their shopping habits, with over 50% respondents referring to ‘significant’ change.
 
These habits are backed up by regional trends seen by Amara. In H1 2020 UAE orders increased by 209% compared to the same period in 2019. KSA sales jumped by 292% during the same period. A significant factor in this growth comes from the adoption of electronic payment methods, in line with the Saudi 2030 Vision for 70% of all online payments to be cashless by 2030. 
 
In Amara’s case the shift to Delivery Duty Paid in June 2020 helped to make online shopping as frictionless as possible for UAE and KSA customers.



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