Dubai-headquartered eyewear startup eyewa, which was recently in the news for raising $21 million in a Series B co-led by Kingsway Capital and Nuwa Capital, has announced Shyam Sunder as its chief marketing officer.
Started in 2017 by Mehdi Oudghiri and Anass Boumediene, who previously led Foodpanda in the Middle East, eyewa aims to build the largest tech-enabled eyewear company in the region. The decision to bring in a seasoned marketer from the region such as Shyam Sunder was natural considering that the brand which started as an online retailer selling sunglasses, contact lenses, and prescription glasses in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia has now evolved into an omnichannel player that also features in-house brands across MENA. While its e-commerce platform now also sells to customers in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, and Kuwait, the brand is accelerating its retail expansion with brick-and-mortar stores in the next 12 months across the region.
“eyewa is not only an omnichannel retail brand but also a House of Brands with six direct-to-consumer brands for our different eyewear verticals, with different positionings and value propositions for our customers. Thankfully, customers across our region in the Middle East have been very quick in adopting our brands and the response in terms of sales and engagement has been very positive. To continue on this path and double down on our expansion, we are welcoming Shyam as a core team member to elevate our brands and connect at a deeper level with our audience,” said Anass Boumediene.
For Shyam Sunder, an Omnichannel marketer himself who played a significant role in building brands across the Landmark Group over a 10 year period, the move to eyewa was ‘an offer he could not refuse’. Sunder said, “I was enjoying my multi-brand, multi-sector consulting role when the founders approached me. It was simply the sharing of common values, passion, vision and commitment of building the business into the most loved and valuable brand in the eyewear category which led me to the shift. Am excited to join this young, talented, and diverse team of professionals and looking forward to the opportunity to build the brand across audiences, channels and regions”.
From a marketing perspective, the need to reach out to larger audiences and engage them with a mix of online and offline channels will be key to grow the eyewa business.
“While the brand is performing well with the in-market audience, it’s time to open the funnel and engage the wider audiences with its amazing range of eyewear solutions. There is also a great room for creativity and innovation which will drive the brand’s efficiency and growth across channels,” added Sunder.
Profile of eyewa
- Founders: Mehdi Oudghiri and Anass Boumediene
- Started: October 2017
- Based: Dubai, UAE
- Sector: eyewear across e-commerce and retail
- Regions: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and soon in Egypt
- Initial investment: $1.1m in 2018
- Funding stage: Series-B, $21m
- Investors: Series-B round co-led by Kingsway and Nuwa Capital, with participation from French Partners, Endeavor Catalyst, Derayah, Palm Drive and Hardy Capital