Kuwait’s Boxit gets seed funding, looks to tackle UAE and KSA

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This article is a crosspost with Nuwait

The core team. From left to right: Lijo Antony, head of product development, Abraham Thomas, cofounder and vice president of operations, Premlal Pullisserry, cofounder and CEO, and Joby Mathew, cofounder and head of internal operations. (Images via Boxit)

Kuwait’s easy storage solution Boxit has received a seed investment of $600,000.

Led by Dubai-based Wamda Capital, who put in $200,000, it also included Kuwait-based Arzan VC, Dubai-based investor Equitrust, Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al Ahamad Al Jaber Al Sabah and Saad Mouasher, vice chairman at Jordan Ahli Bank. 

“We chose to invest in Boxit because it tackles a problem that is increasingly becoming evident among a youth population that is becoming increasingly urbanized and are moving away from houses into apartments,” said Wamda Capital partner Fares Ghandour. “Their model is optimized for that cohort.”

Offering a service that allows users to order a Boxit blue storage box through a mobile app, or the website, schedule a pick up time, and then have them reshipped to a safe storage facility, the startup launched in 2015.

A Boxit box, fill it up!

With a team of eight people, Boxit cofounder Premlal Pullisserry said they were growing 25 to 30 percent month-on-month.

“Our latest batch of boxes has just arrived and we hope to send it to our customers soon,” he said.

What was interesting about the investment, according to Pullisserry, is the fact that Sheikh Hamad Jaber Al Ahamad Al Jaber Al Sabah chose to invest in a startup for a change, after having only invested in traditional businesses before.

Boxit said they will be spending the investment on hiring more people, marketing, and launching new boxes that can store larger items. “So far, we haven’t engaged in marketing activities and most of the business we received has come from word of mouth.”

Kuwait’s success leads to UAE expansion

Starting out of coworking space Sirdab Lab in Kuwait, the startup rapidly grew in country and ran out of boxes in the first six months. They are now incubated at In5, a coworking space in Dubai. In a previous interview with Nuwait, Pullisserry said that Sirdab Lab had helped them find the right mentors, hone their business plan and pitch to potential investors.

“Our next steps involve launching our services in all the major cities of the UAE,” Pullisserry said. Later this year, they also hope to expand to Saudi Arabia but don’t have a plan set up for it yet.

“We liked the team and their drive to achieve their goals,” said Arzan VC partner Hassan Zainal. “In addition, they understand their target customer and have a clear execution plan.”

In order to strengthen Boxit’s presence in the UAE, the team signed with Aramex for warehousing and transportation after they were dealing with the logistic partner in Kuwait. “We had a small storage house before [in Kuwait],” Pullisserry said. “Once we started getting more customers, we moved to a mid-sized warehouse company in Kuwait then we pitched to Aramex and Fedex; Aramex agreed to partner immediately.”

Boxit had won several prizes previously, including the Kuwait edition of Startup MENA’s GCC Pitch Challenge 2015, Kuwait edition of the South Summit 2015, and they were the Grand Champion for Dubai Smart City App Hack 2015 and were first runner up at Seedstars World’s Dubai 2015 round.

Their previous investment was a seed round of $100,000 in 2014, led by angel investor Sabah al Bader along with Abed Shaheen, CEO of information management solutions InfoFort, and Nader Museitif, head of business development at Uber Middle East.

Wamda readers can benefit from a discount on Boxit services by using this link

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