Four months into 2022, Egyptian startups have already raised more than $150 million, mostly in Series A rounds.
Most of the funding has gone to the fintech sector, which has been growing at a remarkable speed in recent years due to the government’s active policies aimed at achieving financial inclusion. Logistics and e-commerce also stood out as highly attractive industries to investors. Here is a list of the top deals closed to date, each with a ticket size of at least $5 million.
Khazan, a two-year-old fintech company, has raised $38 million in a Series-A round that combines both equity and debt funding. The equity funding was led by Quona Capital, while the debt financing was provided by Lendable. Khazan offers a broad range of financial services to consumers and microbusiness, including general purpose credit, buy now lay later (BNPL) and bill payment. Since its launch, the company has raised a total of $47 million and secured more than 150,000 users. The company has announced that the funds will be used to grow their team and products.
Brimore, a social commerce platform, has raised $25 million in a Series-A round led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Endure Capital. Brimore is a distribution platform that allows local consumers to penetrate the market through a network of individual distributors. Stay-at-home mothers seeking a source of income, represent 90 percent of Brimore app’s users. When the founders announced they would be raising funds, they said the funds would be used to expand their network of sellers, increase their workforce, and expand into Africa.
Lucky, another fintech startup, has raised $25 million in a Series-A funding round, led by Nclude fund, which was launched earlier this year by Egypt’s largest national banks and Global Ventures. Lucky app’s 8 million active users are granted access to credit products, discounts and cash-back rewards. According to the founder, the company has seen 250 percent year-on-year growth in gross merchandise value since its inception in 2018. Last year, the company launched operations in Morocco. So far, the company has raised a total of $45 million.
Thndr, an online investment platform, has raised $20 million in a Series A round led by Tiger Global, BECO Capital and Prosus Ventures. Founded in 2019, the commission-free trading mobile app states that it seeks to democratize share ownership in the region by simplifying the process of opening and managing an investment account. A few weeks before announcing its fundraising, the founders told Zawya their platform had 160,000 signups, of which 50,000 were actively using the app on a monthly basis. They added that they were bracing for regional expansion, mainly in the GCC region.
Pylon, a smart infrastructure management platform targeting electricity and water companies, has raised $19 million in a seed-funding round led by Endure Capital. The equity and debt financing round saw the participation of Cathexis Ventures, Khawarizmi Ventures, Loftyinc Ventures and other prominent angel investors. Launched in 2017, Pylon’s business model seeks to foster sustainable development by increasing efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.
Walsa, an e-commerce mobile app, has closed a $9 million equity investment deal with Contact Financial Holding, a non-bank consumer finance provider. With a network of over 100 merchants, Wasla offers users online aggregated deals, discounts and cash-back offers. First launched in late 2018, Wasla has created a mobile web browser optimized for online shopping. The funds are expected to help the company add more products and payment options as well as to expand regionally.
Naqla, a digital freight marketplace, has raised $10.5 million in a Pre-Series A round led by El-Sewedy Capital Holding, Hassan Allam Holding and Sallam Family. The five-year-old company serves as a marketplace that connects truck owners with cargo companies. Since its launch, Naqla has witnessed a rapid growth into more than 35 zones and overseen the delivery of over 4.6 million tons of cargo. The founders have said they will use the fresh funds to boost their technology and digitize more aspects of the logistics business.
Yalla Fel Sekka (YFS), a delivery-service startup, has closed a $7 million Series-A funding round, led by DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture platform. The two-year-old company is focused on groceries, e-commerce consolidators, retailers and pharmaceutical products, providing instant on-demand delivery and dark store management. The company delivers more than 10,000 orders a day and has a presence in five of Egypt’s 27 provinces. The funds are expected to allow YFS to expand its footprint in more Egyptian cities and across the MENA region.
Milezmore, an end-to-end logistics startup, has secured $5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Brimore. The one-year-old company provides cloud fulfilment, last-mile delivery and other customized operations solutions. The rapidly growing startup has so far processed more than 15 million pieces and delivered more than one million packages. Milezmore serves over 25 companies across various industries.
(Reporting by Noha El Hennawy; editing by Seban Scaria)