Back in 2021, many e-commerce brand owners in the Middle East were facing funding issues wherein they could not scale without access to capital. They also had no opportunity to exit their brands since hardly anyone in MENA was willing to buy an e-commerce brand.
Understanding these issues, Manfred Meyer and Philip Johnston, Co-Founders & Co-CEOs, established their own company – Opontia, to enable online sellers realize the full value of their brands. These two e-commerce and finance experts came together with a similar vision and decided to merge their skill sets to create the region’s first fully digital “House of Brands”, which customers in the Middle East and around the world would know and love!
Revolutionizing the Middle Eastern markets
The Middle Eastern market is less developed compared to the more unified US and European markets, so Opontia aims to integrate with the players of the highly fragmented seller ecosystem of marketplaces and logistics providers through an omnichannel approach. Opontia’s vision is to become the next-generation e-commerce group in Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa by acquiring, operating, and scaling outstanding e-commerce brands with superstar products. The main purpose of Opontia is to buy and grow diverse e-commerce brands across the region. Some of the brands that Opontia has bought and taken to new heights include Novimed, a medical pillow brand; Blanco, a perfume brand; and Natilu, a baby swing brand.
Manfred asserts, “We believe in putting sellers first in everything that we do, to provide a fast and fair way for the e-commerce entrepreneurs to sell their brands. Our transactions are handled with integrity and full transparency to ensure the best possible seller experience”. To achieve this, all the team members of the company are trained to oversee transactions with full ownership, thereby minimising the amount of time sellers dedicate to the acquisition and integration process. Finally, the company deeply empathises with the hard work and sacrifices made by e-commerce entrepreneurs to develop their brands and insist on conserving all the brand owners’ legacies.
Today, the company has spread its presence across four of the largest online retail economies in EEMEA with offices across Riyadh, Dubai, Istanbul, and Warsaw. Since inception, the company has also hired a team of 90 people, bought 10 brands, and achieved $15M revenue from close to zero in under a year. Being awarded as the “Best Newcomer” at the Middle East Startup Awards, further adds to its excellence in the industry. Philip adds, “We take pride in achieving a fifteenfold increase in revenue in just a span of 1 year. With the same passion, we aim to achieve our short-term goals of buying more brands in our markets and scaling them”. The long-term goal of Opontia is to plunge into newer countries such as Egypt, Nigeria & Pakistan.
"We believe in putting sellers first in everything that we do, to provide a fast and fair way for the e-Commerce entrepreneurs to sell their brands