19 Jan 2022

by The Switchers

Lebanese Switcher FabricAID Closes Its Seed Round at 1.6 Million USD

FabricAID is a Lebanese social enterprise founded in 2017, wants to weave a zero-waste vision in how Lebanon and the Middle-East consumes clothes. It is the largest second-hand clothing collector in the MENA region, and the winner of the Growth Stage Category of the WeMed Award in 2021. FabricAID is working to establish and scale a socially and environmentally conscious value chain for the apparel industry by optimizing the collection, sorting, upcycling, and resale of second-hand clothes.  It does this through a series of socially conscious and sustainable brands targeting diverse socio-economic groups, including the extremely vulnerable. Discover more about their project in this video.

FabricAID has just announced the finalization of its 1.6 million USD seed funding round through investments by Wamda and Alfanar.

FabricAID has raised a total of 2.1 million USD since its inception, and has multiplied sales in 2021 by a factor of five, resulting in over 70,000 beneficiary consumers served to date.To effectively serve growing need and demand, FabricAID now employees nearly one hundred full-time employees.

“This is a stepping stone, not only for us at FabricAID, but for all social enterprises. Yes, we can be profitable, and have a substantial impact at the same time. Yes, we can attract venture capital and serve our community at the same time, yes, it is possible! “ FabricAID’s General Manager Omar Itani insists.

The seed round extended from 2020 until the end of 2021, and totaled 1.6 million USD making it one of the largest seed rounds for a social enterprise in the region. It included equity investment from venture capital, venture philanthropy impact investment, and angel investors; alongside, development grants and competition awards. Wamda has invested $500,000,  giving FabricAID a pre-money valuation of five million USD. Alfanar has joined the round by investing a hundred thousand dollars at the same valuation.

FabricAID previously raised around 500,000 USD in its pre-seed round, which was completed in 2019.

The round will be used to further strengthen FabricAID’s positioning in Lebanon, expand its operations in Jordan, and launch in Egypt fulfilling its vision of providing clothing for everyone in need in a dignified, sustainable, and environmentally conscious manner.

For the record, in 2020, another Switcher, NextProtein has succeeded to close $11.2m Series A to scale up its insect production in Tunisia. Leading the round were a group of investors drawn together by Blue Oceans Partners, including Telos Impact and RAISE Impact. Further support came from Mirova and Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund, along with Japan’s Kepple Africa Ventures and Aucfan Incubate Inc (since its founding in 2015, nextProtein has also secured funds from investors including Kima Ventures and angels Khaled Helioui and Cyril Grislain.)