American University of Beirut

A business success story designed at OSB

Three aspiring student entrepreneurs from the OSB MBA program are behind Moodfit – the first successful online interior design platform in the MENA region.

Cofounders Ghassan Abi Fadel, Tarek El Jaroudi, and Mohamad Sabouneh brainstormed their ambitious business idea in the popular Entrepreneurship and Innovation Practicum course (BUSS 350D) at OSB. The team brought together complementary skills from Abi Fadel's operations experience, El Jaroudi's architecture experience, and Sabouneh's venture capital experience. Their combined skills in business development, design, and operations established a successful synergy.

Initially, the team wanted to launch a traditional offline renovation company, but soon realized that the market is saturated with many similar companies with little market differentiation. “We noticed a gap in the market where few people have access to professional interior design services," said Sabouneh. “This opening got us thinking about how we could address this market need and find a suitable business model to overcome different pain points between clients, designers, and furniture suppliers."

Today, is an online platform that offers hassle-free home furnishing and decoration services via direct collaboration with professional interior designers. “Through our online platform and design tools, clients get to choose a designer for their project, then chat directly with that designer to receive a furniture and decorative items selection that fits their style and furniture budget," said Sabouneh. He added that once the design is finalized, Moodfit also coordinates the delivery from local suppliers to the client.

Early funding for the venture originated with a $15,000 first prize from the 2015 Darwazah Student Innovation Contest at OSB. Additionally, last month the team secured a seed investment worth $400K from Seeders Angel Group, IM Capital, Impact Fund by Middle East Venture Partners, and iSME Capital.

This investment comes after more than a year of Moodfit operating in Beirut and Dubai, during which time the company has proven its model and gained traction in both locales. This round of funding also coincides with several similar investments made with comparable companies in the US, such as Havenly and Modsy, demonstrating increased interest and enthusiasm for the concept of online home design.

Much dedicated effort went into market research, customer feedback, and validation to make Moodfit the success story it is today. “From day one, we took a very lean approach to building Moodfit's business model and online platform," explains Sabouneh. “The OSB MBA program equipped our team with the extensive business knowledge that enabled us to strategically approach the opportunity and align the entire value chain from building a product to market approach, eventually leading to a successful company."

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