WOMENA’s First Entrepreneur Webinar!  

WOMENA is hosting its first webinar for entrepreneurs on October 13th at 1pm (GST)! It is open to everyone and will be of particular value to any startup considering applying to receive investment from WOMENA’s members.

During the webinar, you will find out more about about:

  • What WOMENA does
  • What WOMENA’s investment process and criteria are
  • What WOMENA looks for in startups

The WOMENA team will also explain how you can be considered to pitch to the WOMENA angels in January, February or March 2016. You can sign up here and if you know of any other entrepreneurs who might be interested, please pass on the invitation!

So if you want to be any one of the companies who have pitched to WOMENA’s members before – like the 14 above – make sure you sign up!

We look forward to seeing you on October 13th!

Melltoo’s “Instagram Entrepreneurship – The Key to Succeeding in Style”  

Since investing in Melltoo, we’ve continually been proud with their progress and growth, none more so than when they announced they were hosting the event “Instagram Entrepreneurship – The Key to Succeeding in Style”. This event will bring together female entrepreneurs who use Instagram as their primary sales and marketing platform and explore best methods and practices. It will be an exciting event and we hope as many of you can make it as possible.

Three local female entrepreneurs will be speaking at the event: Fatma Mohammed Obaid AlMulla; Ayesha Siddiqua; and Latifa Al Shamsi.

Fatma (@FMMbyFatmaAlMulla) has an extraordinary 101,000 followers on Instagram where recently created her own khaleeji pop-culture brand named “FMM” (the 3 initials of her name, Fatma Mohammed AlMulla). She observes social and cultural problems, stereotypes and misconceptions and addresses them via detailed illustrations and tongue and cheek Arabic captions and her business has grown across the Gulf. A Visual Communication graduate from the American University of Sharjah, Fatma has fast become one of the most promising designers in the region.

Ayesha (@ayeshasiddequa) originally hails from India but has spent most of her life in Dubai. Ayesha spent 12 years in the corporate world before starting her own label Ayesha Siddequa, a collection of a collections of Abaya’s and Women’s ready-to-wear for her customers who are chic and glamorous with an edge. Ayesha is also the Creative Director of Future Fashion, an online marketplace that brings together sustainable fashion brands from around the world.

Latifa (@bylatifalshamsi) started blogging five years ago, quickly building up a large following. Three years later she launched the clothing line Queen L with her sisters and, this month, she is launching her own line of fashion ready-to-wear and accessories.

Make sure you check out the event page and email [email protected] to get an invite. The event is at 6:00pm on 20th May at the in5 Innovation Center. If you can’t attend, then make sure you check out both the Melltoo and WOMENA Instagram pages!

WOMENA’s First Pitch Meeting!  

The first WOMENA Charter Group Meeting was held on December 10th and saw three companies present to WOMENA’s charter members. Kamal Hassan, the founder of Turn8 and the i360accelerator as well as the General Partner for Fenox Venture Capital in Dubai, kicked off the proceedings as a guest speaker. He highlighted a few key elements investors but pay attention to when analysing the presenting companies. He specified the importance of diversification as well as the strength of the founding team when choosing an investment.

Bern Shen, a serial entrepreneur, TechWadi board member, and a member of the Band of Angels, then addressed our members, warmly greeting them to the world of investment and quickly reaffirmed the need for women to be invested (pun intended) in this industry.

Following our two guest speakers, the three companies – Eventtus, Feesheh and Melltoo – were invited to present to the assembled WOMENA members.

Eventtus is a one-stop events platform, helping people discover new events, buy tickets, and network with the right people to make the most out of event night

Feesheh is the first online store for musical instruments serving the Arab World

Melltoo is a social marketplace that connects buyers and sellers of secondhand goods, available as an app or online

Each presentation was followed by a Q&A from our members. The evening concluded with networking and a further chance for our members to grill the entrepreneurs on their business plans. All in all an excellent evening!

To see more pictures from the evening, check out our Facebook album!


Introducing Melltoo: WOMENA’s First Investment  

We are very happy to announce today that our first investment is in Melltoo, a social network that connects buyers and sellers of secondhand goods. Morrad Irsane (CEO) and Sharene Lee (COO) launched the company in Dubai in March 2014. Already they have 85,000 downloads, 25,000 active users and daily growth of 400+ users.

Melltoo was one of the first companies to present to our members and they delivered a very impressive pitch. We asked Morrad and Sharene a few questions to learn more about Melltoo.

What was the inspiration behind Melltoo?

Hyper-consumption is a global problem. Yet, it is a problem that can be alleviated if we all just resell and reuse our things. However, there isn’t an easy way to sell the little (and even big) things in our lives that we no longer need. That’s why we built Melltoo, to provide an easier and friendlier way to sell the things in our lives that we don’t use anymore.

Melltoo is different to most other classified listings because of the deep social integration with the product. Why is this important?

Melltoo is a marketplace where people can buy and sell things. Classifieds are primarily a means to advertise something and to get leads. Melltoo, with our payment and delivery services, lets users buy and sell second hand things directly through the app, without even having to leave their homes.

The deep social integration has a purpose-to build trust in the marketplace. Being able to see users’ profiles and interacting with other users builds relationships and trust, which is the key component of a successful peer to peer marketplace.

You’ve seen some very impressive growth – why do you think Gulf residents have been so quick to embrace Melltoo?

Because we are solving a problem. People here shop a lot, move a lot, and have a lot to sell. The current options for selling their things are so cumbersome that they would rather just dump them or give them away. Because Melltoo helps Gulf residnts buy and sell easily, and in doing so solves a pain point, they have been quick to embrace the platform.

What’s next for Melltoo?

We are rolling out our payment and delivery services which should further accelerate the buying and selling process. This will be implemented one product vertical at a time. The investment secured from Womena will help us get to revenue-generation after which our series A round awaits.

How’s your experience with WOMENA been?

Our experience with WOMENA has been wonderful. Seeking investment is typically a painful and time-consuming process that diverts attention away from growing our business. With WOMENA, the process has been quick and smooth. The WOMENA team, despite being highly demanding in performing due diligence, is extremely efficient and the turnaround time was under 3 weeks. This is incredible, considering all the care that was put into the process. I can honestly say that I wish all investors did things the way WOMENA does.

To learn more about Melltoo, go to their website or download the app straight to your phone from the App Store or Google Play.