Mayhoola CEO’s new investment fund for M.East start-ups

As CEO of Mayhoola, owner of Valentino and Balmain, Rachid Mohamed Rachid is accustomed to dealing with brands with sales that have crossed €1 billion (US$1.1 billion). Now, through his latest platform Bidayat, Rachid has his eyes on emerging names with significantly lesser sales volume.

The goal of Bidayat is to finance early-stage brands in fashion, accessories, jewellery, beauty and lifestyle especially from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. Launched in Spring 2021, the value of these investments range from US$500,000 to US$10 million.

The Switzerland-headquartered platform is owned by Alsara Investment Group, Rachid’s family office, which is fully funded from Rachid and his family estate. Bidayat is laser-focused on the brands that generate under US$5 million in sales. “We can also incubate projects, if we have the right idea and the right designer,” Rachid says.

It is Rachid’s position that the need to provide the needed support to budding talent cannot be overemphasized. “Even in Paris where there’s a sophisticated ecosystem compared to the Gulf or Southern Mediterranean, the journey for young designers is still very risky. The challenge [in MENA] is even bigger because the ecosystem and support doesn’t exist,” he added.

It is harder for upcoming brands to scale their business when they have to compete with the marketing budgets and leverage that luxury conglomerates have at their disposal. In regions such as the Middle East and Africa, there is less infrastructure, while in Europe Rachid will also be competing with other start-up accelerators.

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