Egypt’s top 9 investment deals so far in 2022

Four months into 2022, Egyptian startups have already raised over $150 million, mostly in Series A rounds.

Most of the funding has gone to the fintech sector, which has seen remarkable growth in recent years due to the government’s active policies aimed at achieving financial inclusion. Logistics and e-commerce also stood out as very attractive sectors for investors. Here’s a list of the best deals to date, each with a ticket size of at least $5 million.

Khazan, a two-year-old fintech company, raised $38 million in a Series A funding round that combines both equity and debt financing. Equity financing was led by Quona Capital, while debt financing was provided by Lendable. Khazan offers a wide range of financial services to consumers and micro-enterprises, including general purpose credit, buy now and later (BNPL) and bill payment. Since launch, the company has raised a total of $47 million and secured over 150,000 users. The company announced that the funds will be used to grow its team and products.

Brimore, a social commerce platform, raised $25 million in a Series A funding round led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Endure Capital. Brimore is a distribution platform that allows local consumers to enter the market through a network of individual distributors. Stay-at-home moms looking for a source of income make up 90% of Brimore app users. When the founders announced they were going to fundraise, they said the funds would be used to expand their network of vendors, grow their workforce, and expand into Africa.

Lucky, another fintech startup, raised $25 million in a Series A funding round, led by the Nclude fund, which was launched earlier this year by Egypt’s top national banks and Global Ventures. The 8 million active users of the Lucky app have access to credit products, discounts and cashback. According to the founder, the company has recorded a 250% growth in gross merchandise value since its inception in 2018. Last year, the company launched its operations in Morocco. So far, the company has raised a total of $45 million.

Thndr, an online investment platform, raised $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Tiger Global, BECO Capital and Prosus Ventures. Founded in 2019, the commission-free mobile trading app says it seeks to democratize shareholding 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 that their platform had 160,000 registrations, of which 50,000 were actively using the app on a monthly basis. They added that they were preparing for regional expansion, mainly in the GCC region.

Pylon, a smart infrastructure management platform targeting power and water utilities, raised $19 million in a seed funding round led by Endure Capital. The equity and debt financing round saw participation from Cathexis Ventures, Khawarizmi Ventures, Loftyinc Ventures and other top angel investors. Launched in 2017, Pylon’s business model aims to drive sustainability by increasing efficiency and reducing carbon emissions.

Waltz, a mobile e-commerce application, has entered into a $9 million equity investment deal with Contact Financial Holding, a non-bank consumer finance provider. With a network of over 100 merchants, Wasla provides users with online aggregate offers, discounts and cashback offers. First released in late 2018, Wasla 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 expand regionally.

Naqla, a digital freight marketplace, raised $10.5m in a pre-Series A round led by El-Sewedy Capital Holding, Hassan Allam Holding and Sallam Family. The five-year-old business serves as a marketplace that connects truck owners to freight companies. Since its launch, Naqla has grown rapidly in over 35 zones and overseen the delivery of over 4.6 million tonnes of cargo. The founders said they would use the new funds to strengthen their technology and digitize more aspects of the logistics business.

Yalla Fel Sekka (YFS), a delivery services startup, closed a $7 million Series A funding round, led by DisruptAD, the ADQ’s venture capital platform. The two-year-old company focuses on groceries, e-commerce consolidators, retailers and pharmaceuticals, offering instant on-demand delivery and dark store management. The company delivers more than 10,000 orders per day and is present in five of Egypt’s 27 provinces. The funds are expected to enable YFS to expand its footprint in more Egyptian cities and across the MENA region.

Milezmore, an end-to-end logistics startup, secured $5 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Brimore. The company, established a year ago, offers cloud fulfillment, last mile delivery and other custom operations solutions. The growing startup has so far processed over 15 million parts and delivered over 1 million packages. Milezmore serves over 25 companies in various industries.

(Reporting by Noha El Hennawy; editing by Seban Scaria)

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