Citron, the Dubai-based family business that supplies innovative mealtime products to families, has received pre-Series A funding from Arzan Venture Capital, in a move that shows confidence in both female-founded businesses and direct-to-consumer business models.
The sizeable seven-figure US$ investment in Citron will be used to drive growth and further product innovation.
Citron was founded in 2017 by Sara Chemmaa after she identified a clear need in the market for stylish and leakproof lunchboxes. Since its launch, the brand has grown to include over 90 products including a sustainable range, a bamboo range and a range specifically designed for teenagers.
As a homegrown start-up that began with one single product, Citron has proved that with passion, commitment and strong female leadership, growth can be rapid and significant. Since its inception, Citron has enjoyed a 200% YoY growth and has sold more than 100,000 items. These impressive figures go a long way towards explaining what made Citron such an attractive investment opportunity for Arzan VC.
Sara Chemmaa, CEO and Founder of Citron, said: “We are delighted to be taking the next step of the Citron journey hand in hand with Arzan VC. As a ‘non-tech’ company, the investment is even more meaningful as this sector is currently out of favour by investors. As a female-owned and -run business, we are thrilled to be paving the way and are thankful to Arzan VC for backing strong female founders who are underrepresented and overlooked despite demonstrating superior returns.”
Globally, data is showing a 63% outperformance by female-founded teams over their all-male counterparts. As a local brand with big ambitions, Citron can now look forward to a strong growth trajectory, with market and product expansion supported by their recently secured distributor agreement with MAPYR.
Laith Zraikat, Partner at Arzan Venture Capital, commented on the investment: “Citron is catering to a huge market and the founder’s plan to diversify her product lines and sell directly to consumers made us realize Citron’s potential to grow and become a global company. We are looking forward to being part of Citron’s journey and assisting them in achieving their goals.”
Citron is a family business based in Dubai that offers an innovative range of products ranging from beautiful printed lunchboxes, food jars, snack boxes, lunch bags, bamboo plates within the baby feeding category, water bottles and food cutters that make mums’ and kids’ lives easier. Founded by a mother that had a fussy eater, who came up with a product to deal with the situation, since its launch in 2017 with 1 product, Citron has gone on to dominate the lunchbox and back to school market of the GCC, selling over 100,000 products, winning a number of awards and proving quite the force to be reckoned with as it looks set to launch and go on to international success. All products are BPA free, leak proof and dishwasher safe. Citron products are available across the GCC including major chains such as Spinneys, Waitrose, Borders, HomeSmiths, BumbleBee, Magrudys, babyshop, Lifestyle and ToysRus, as well as online at all major e-commerce sites such as Amazon, Noon, Mumzworld, BabyStore and Firstcry.
About Arzan Venture Capital:
Arzan Venture Capital (@ArzanVC) is a Kuwait-born VC firm that has been investing in startups with a MENA angle since 2014, making it one of the earliest VC firms in the region. Arzan VC’s portfolio includes 30+ startups. The firm invests in young, fast-growing and innovative tech teams and it remains committed to building long-lasting relationships with the region’s most talented entrepreneurs at an early stage.