UAE startup wins key funding in SME contest
Abu Dhabi, December 23, 2013
Stationery.ae, an online shopping platform that aims to sell over 50,000 stationary items to a UAE market valued at Dh1.6 billion ($436 million), has won the inaugural 'Pitch for Investment' competition at the recent SME Congress & Expo.
The UAE-based start-up will provide stationary and office supplies up to 20 per cent cheaper than brick & mortar retailers, offering school children’s parents, university students and small businesses a cost effective and convenient shopping solution for their daily requirements.
Walied Albasheer, the co-founder and CEO of Stationary.ae, said that with more than 800,000 school children, 100,000 university students, and 240,000 small businesses in the UAE, the market for its ecommerce platform is ripe for picking.
"In three years, the company plans to generate Dh16 million in revenue, and a ten per cent of the target market share," he stated.
“The whole idea of Stationery.ae came about through a personal challenge I had when searching for stationary for my own three young daughters, and I’m sure that many parents in the UAE experience the same challenges,” said Albasheer, whose website will launch in January.
“Children are very particular about the stationary they want, and buying the right items can take days or weeks going from store to store. What Stationery.ae provides is an enjoyable shopping experience, convenience, and availability of products at cheaper prices.
“Our research found that the total addressable market is 1.2 million customers spending Dh1.6 billion annually on stationary and office supplies. Our aim is to capture 10 per cent of our target market in the first three years.”
Stationery.ae was voted as the best out of ten Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) finalists from more than 200 nominations across the Middle East in the Pitch for Investment competition, which was launched at the SME Congress & Expo to help the region’s brightest SMEs and entrepreneurs meet potential investors and attract capital for their growing businesses.
The finalists delivered live presentations in front of a panel of judges across the first two days of the three-day event, with Stationery.ae walking away with a $5,000 Management Training Course provided by IIR Middle East and two Business Class Flights from the event’s Official Carrier, Etihad Airways.
Joint runners up were Tech Backpack, a journalism reporting e-tool that speeds up and simplifies digital storytelling, and Asly, a mobile SMS service providing consumers with information about the goods they buy and authenticating genuine products versus falsified products.-TradeArabia News Service