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Abu Dhabi-Based Travel Platform Dharma Raises $4.7M Pre-Series A Round

The latest funding round brings Dharma's total equity funding to $10 million, and will help the startup expand its business.

Startup Scene

Dharma, a business-to-business travel management platform based in Abu Dhabi, has raised a $4.7 million pre-series A funding round, led by San Francisco-based Convivialite Ventures, with participation from FJ Labs, Equinox and Soul Cycle along with a number of investors and angels. The latest funding round brings Dharma's total equity funding to $10 million, and will help the startup expand its business.

Launched by Nisma Benani, Brice Carpentier, Leah Howe and Charaf El Mansouri in 2018, Dharma sells travel experiences with notable people and brands. Its recent partnership with Paramount Global, for example, came with the launch of an official travel experience called 'Paris by Emily' based on the popular Netflix series, 'Emily in Paris'.

“Our core conviction is that the future of travel is passion-based,” Charaf El Mansouri, chief executive and co-founder at Dharma, tells StartupScene. “If for the past 50 years, people have travelled for the where, the next 50 years, people will travel for the why. That’s the future Dharma is enabling.”

As one of the first startups accepted into the Hub71 programme, Abu Dhabi's global technology ecosystem, Dharma's founding team recently relocated from New York and Marrakesh to Abu Dhabi. Such moves are part of the UAE government's Digital Economy Strategy, which seeks to increase the sector's contribution to the nation's GDP by 20% over the next decade.

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