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Joy AjlounyCo-founder of Middle Eastern Unicorn, Fetchr
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Businesswoman, serial entrepreneur and advisor, Joy Ajlouny is a flash-bang grenade thrown into the Middle East. Born and raised in California to Palestinian refugees, Ajlouny has built a reputation for her success in startups and ventures worldwide, all the while aggravating the status quo of women in business. Belonging to the top one percent of female entrepreneurs, the self-made entrepreneur has “gamified rejection” and carved her space in the business world.
In 2015 Joy Ajlouny co-founded Fetchr, the Silicon Valley-backed tech company that was created to tackle the Middle East’s “no address” issue, which has been long been a hindrance to growth in emerging markets. She facilitated $52 million in initial investments in Fetchr, as well as $41 million in a Series B round in 2017. The company now successfully operates in five countries with a 3500-person staff and was dubbed the number one startup in the Middle East by Forbes. In 2019, Ajlouny demonstrated that she was beholden to nobody when she resigned from her position at Fetchr, with plans to launch her third Silicon Valley-backed company later this year.
Ahead of founding Fetchr, Joy Ajlouny was the driving force and sole entity behind the e-commerce luxury fashion platform Bonfaire. Acquired by Moda Operandi––a fashion e-commerce giant owned by LVMH and Condé Nast––in 2013, just two years after its launch, this was only the start of what would develop into a long-lasting relationship between Ajlouny and the fashion industry. Ajlouny is regularly hired as a consultant for fashion startups, as well as for Condé Nast.
Over the last decade, her unmatched knowledge and expertise in funding and investment, startups and marketing strategies has compounded into what’s known as the “Joy effect,” a term that refers to the ripple of her influence on a multitude of new and once suffering companies. Considered an expert in emotional marketing, she follows the rule of thumb that in order to be successful, you have to “fall in love with your customer.” With less than three percent of venture capital funding raised by women, Ajlouny has successfully raised multiple rounds of funding for her two startups, acquiring investments from prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firms.
As a self-made woman in the industry, Joy Ajlouny is passionate about encouraging and investing knowledge into the young women of tomorrow. Ajlouny is regularly invited to speak at forums and events across the world and most recently took the stage at the World Economic Forum in Jordan and BoF VOICES in the UK. Her talks are not only centered upon her businesses but on the realities of being a female entrepreneur, the double bind and the relentlessness it takes to secure a position that counters the traditional roles allocated for women.