Egypt - Hoods, the first live entertainment shopping platform in the Middle East is seeking a seed funding round to support its expansion plan.

Hoods was founded by Mostafa Hanafi in Egypt at the end of 2020 and co-founded by Waleed Ghalwashthrough a pre-seed funding round in 2022 of $350,000 that included angel investors from the entertainment, logistics, venture finance, and fintech sectors, leading to the launch of the new version of the platform’s application across the Apple and Play Stores.

The e-commerce market in MENA is believed to have reached $29bn in revenues in 2021 and is projected to double by 2026 to reach $57bn. The live e-commerce sub–sector is also expected to constitute 14% of that market by 2026 to deliver $8bn in revenues.

Hoods Founding Partner Mostafa Hanafi — who graduated from the American University in Cairo’sincubator AUC Venture Lab — said his team is creating the first platform in the Middle East to offer e-commerce integrated with entertainment and live broadcasting.

Hanafi believes that capturing the live e-commerce opportunity requires a re-imagination of the consumer experience.

“Traditional e–commerce experiences are missing what is clearly becoming a growing expectation from younger generations,” he says, referring to entertainment and interaction standards being set by social networking experiences from the likes of Tik Tok and Instagram.

But those platforms are not built for e-commerce and are missing what consumers have come to expect from online shopping — an instant buying experience and a reliable fulfilment process.

“We’ve built a platform that uniquely fuses shopping and entertainment in a compelling experience that combines the convenience of robust e-commerce with the excitement of live entertainment. And we make sure that products are delivered to the customers’ doorstep with speed and as little hassle as possible,” he added.

“Additionally, HOODS works to support younger generations at several levels. We help local brands create professional entertainment content that appeals to the digital consumer. We also open the door for new influencers to communicate directly with brands and become their digital sales representatives, achieving immediate financial returns for both parties. It’s a win-win for everyone, and Hoods is set to be the propeller of this new version of digital commerce.”

Hoods Co-Founder Waleed Ghalwash — who is also aserial entrepreneur and Founder of Code95 and MerQAI — said: “HOODS offers a unique experience to both shoppers and sellers through an app that is both easy to use and intuitive. Influencers and brands can setup a shop, upload their content, and start selling in a matter of minutes.”

“HOODS’ platform is designed to be stable, resilient, and scalable to cope with our ambitious future expansion plans. We are working on state-of-the-art data analytics and AI engines to provide shoppers with intuitive recommendations and insights,” he added.

HOODS conducted a financing round earlier this year and succeeded in collecting $350,000. The pre-seed fund helped in expanding its activities by building robust technology platform and providing various payment and financing solutions through partnerships, in addition to traditional payment methods.

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