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We Got Funded: Sprii Raises US$8.5 Million in A Series A Round The e-commerce platform designed for mums plans to invest further in technology and top global talent to fuel expansion plans across the Middle East

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Sprii, a Dubai-based curated e-commerce platform for mothers and children, has raised US$8.5 million in a Series A funding round with undisclosed investors. "In the Series A round we've just closed, we had huge support from our previous round investors, which was very humbling," explains Sarah Jones, founder of Sprii. "The additional investors we brought in were regional investors that have synergies across our whole supply chain- retail, distribution, logistics- and can open doors in the new markets we're entering."

The successful closing of its Series A round follows Sprii's debut into Saudi Arabia earlier this year, with the latest injection of funds earmarked to support further expansion into Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain.

Sprii is a Dubai-based curated e-commerce platform for mothers and children.
Source: Sprii

The new funds bring the total investment Sprii has received since launching in 2014 to $13 million which has enabled Jones to make expert hires within the fields of tech, marketing, big data and analytics. "As a business, Sprii is scaling, and scaling fast," Jones says. "This funding round will allow us to invest even further in highly advanced technology to support automation at every step of the process, continuing to improve the customer experience for busy mums on the go which has always been our mission. It will also allow us to scale our commercial team and product range, along with our operations and data teams, allowing us to enter new markets quickly and efficiently, expanding our footprint across the region."

Related: Enterprise Expansion's On The Agenda For Founder Sarah Jones

The technology platform is currently delivering 20% month-on-month growth, while sales in 2019 are on track to be triple those of 2018, Jones says. "The MENA region has so much potential and we are proud to be a part of it," she adds. "Customers are crying out for access to global brands and products in our vertical, along with quick delivery and convenience at every stage of the process. Product range and customer experience have been our focus since day one and really set us apart from the competition."

Sprii's inventory-free model has always been an attractive plus point for the business, as it has allowed an agility to move and scale at an incredibly fast pace. Sprii doesn't manage inventories directly, instead the site connects directly to partner inventory and provides impeccable customer support, including same-day deliveries and a 14-day return policy.

Sprii has raised US$13 million to date.
Source: Sprii

"TREP TALK: Sarah Jones's Tips For Entrepreneurs Fundraising For Their Startups

1. Remember that funding is a means, not the goal. "It may sound obvious but be clear on why you are raising funds and what you're going to use it for. It takes a lot of time to raise funds so you need to be very clear on what it's going to be used for."

2. Start fundraising early. "Fundraising takes longer than you think, and you don't want to get to a stage where you're desperate for cash. Prepare early, take your time and don't panic if it doesn't happen in the first month."

3. Never give up. "Fundraising isn't easy. It takes time to meet potential investors and build these relationships. There are lots of ups and downs, lots of positive conversations and also people that turn you down. Don't be disheartened if you hit roadblocks and keep going."

4. Have a great pitch deck. "The way you present your company is key. Don't underestimate the power of first impressions. For the same reason good design matters for your product, it matters for your presentation. Investors are just as impressionable as your average consumer."

5. Find the right investors. "There is a lot of money out there but it's key to find the right money. As one of my lead investors said to me once. "It's lonely at the top, we're here to help you". You need people that recognise that it's not all plain sailing, that there will be ups and downs and bumps in the road. Get the right backers from day one that will support you, add value and understand that."

Related: The Human Element: Integrating Technology And Data Into Your Customer Service Model

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