Dubai-based online home services marketplace MoveSouq.com has managed to capture investor attention all the way from Russia. MoveSouq has closed a US$3 million Series A funding round led by AddVenture, a Russia-based global venture capital firm. Founded by former consultants Bana Shomali and Wim Torfs in 2013, MoveSouq provides quotes and connects users to service providers for a host of home services including moving, cleaning, handyman and insurance services in four cities in the Middle East. The platform claims to have an extensive network of more than 300 service partners,and counts over 50,000 households in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, who discovered and booked services through the platform in the last year. The current fundraising is the startup’s third round, after seed and angel rounds in 2013 and 2015.
Commenting on the investment raised, Bana Shomali, founder and CEO, MoveSouq.com, says in a statement: “The home services market in the region represents a significant untapped opportunity, estimated at US$5bn per year in the GCC alone, and consumers are starting to buy these services online. We will utilize the new funding to aggressively go after this opportunity and maintain our first-mover advantage.” Elaborating on the specific areas where the funds will be utilized, Shomali says that the company intends to focus on both “cementing leadership in the UAE, while growing services to new cities in the region.” She adds that MoveSouq also intends to expand their services portfolio, deliver “premium, personalized customer experience,” and ramp up the technology framework, with the support of the investment. MoveSouq expects AddVenture’s expertise from working with similar platforms globally to be a positive for its business. As per Addventure’s website, the VC firm looks for startups with “strong teams committed to business” that have a business model proven globally and a "large addressable market." Aggregator businesses, e-commerce, and online marketing are a few focus sectors for the company, which makes investments in different stages of a venture.