Egypt’s ExpandCart raises $2.7M Pre-Series B
MENA's leading E-commerce startup ExpandCart raises a platform-boosting round eyeing R&D and Geographic Expansion.
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ExpandCart, the leading E-commerce platform in the Middle East and North Africa, has secured $2.7M in a Pre-Series B round led by Hong-Kong-based Betatron Venture Group with participation from existing investors; Sawari Ventures from Egypt, and Agility Ventures from Kuwait.
Founded in 2016, ExpandCart is one of the largest e-commerce platform builders in the MENA region with customers from over 40 countries and a client base of 25,000 merchants who managed to achieve over $850 million in GMV through the ExpandCart platform from its current main markets, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, and the UAE.
As recorded in our State of Startup Funding-Emerging Venture Markets 2022 Free report released just this morning, the E-commerce sector across EVMs observed a 97% YoY growth in funding in 2021. Despite this growth percentage being rather conservative relative to other leading sectors like T&L (460% YoY) and FinTech (549% YoY), the second-highest number of deals per industry were closed by E-commerce startups, while the sector climbed two ranks last year to become the third-most funded sector in MENA over 2021. In a sign of healthy future deal flow and inflated round sizes, MENA-based E-commerce deals ranging between $1M- $3M accounted for 15% of total transactions in 2021. Within the segment, we can find steadfast deals in grocery delivery startups like Appetito (Egy) and Yalla Market (UAE), niche market startups like Moya App (KSA) and JOI Gifts (UAE), as well as automobile marketplaces like Odiggo (UAE) and Speero (KSA).
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With estimates that the e-commerce market in the region has been growing at a CAGR of 35% over the last 5 years, studies show that there will be a larger acceleration in e-commerce between 2020 and 2022, at 20% CAGR, and a further 14% growth per annum until 2025.
ExpandCart plans to capitalize on this growth as it prepares to kick start its new financing round, which will be dedicated to new market expansion, and developing a comprehensive ecosystem of commerce products and solutions that will help the company acquire new segments of merchants with business needs that go beyond just a traditional online store. Amr Shawqy, ExpandCart Co-founder/CEO commented, “E-commerce growth has been impressive in the Middle East, and we are proud to be one of the leading players to help millions of businesses go online. With this round, we are committed to being more customer-centric than ever, to build top-class operations, and we will continue to focus on creating the most comprehensive suite of products to help our merchants succeed.”
Ahmed El Alfi, Co-Founder & Chairman of Sawari Ventures, added, “We are happy to continue supporting ExpandCart alongside a strong set of partner investors who, collectively, believe in the growth potential of ExpandCart and the e-commerce market regionally. We are confident in ExpandCart’s ability to remain a leader in the region by offering services to merchants who have diverse and specific needs to grow their companies.
The new round of funding is set to fuel ExpandCart growth in current markets while focusing on maximizing R&D, technology building, and new products to ambitiously enable 1 million merchants within the next 3 years across the MENA region. The Egypt-based E-commerce startup plans on optimizing its multiple products such as their new conversational commerce chatbot solution, ExpandBot which enables merchants to interact with their customers faster through conversation-based commerce tools like (Messenger and WhatsApp) without increasing their headcount. In light of this platform-boosting investment, Matthias Knobloch, Managing Partner of Betatron Venture Group, concluded, “We have been working with Amr and the team at ExpandCart ever since January 2019 and were part of their Pre-A investment round. We’re incredibly excited about the prospect of the e-commerce market in the region and believe ExpandCart will be at the forefront of driving its growth. The Pre-B round will allow the company to further accelerate its business development and set the stage for a larger Series B in 2022.”
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