UAE-based and AI-powered FinTech FlapKap is flipping the advertising and ad-spend game by using AI analytics to optimize outreach and offering flexible revenue-based payment models to fuel ad efforts without cash constraints.
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UAE-based FlapKap, the tech startup set to disrupt e-commerce and SaaS growth in the MEA region, announces its launch and successful completion of a $1.2M fundraise. The funding round was led by A15, one of the most prominent backers of early-stage start-ups in the region.
FlapKap is the regionally contextualized version of Clearco and Wayflyer and the first company of its type in the Middle East. Its primary value propositions are twofold: first, it offers online businesses AI-based insight to help them optimize their advertising spend and maximize profits. Then, it offers these businesses revenue-based flexible payment terms, on that advertising spend, to ensure sustainable growth without cash constraints. Currently operating in the UAE and Egypt, FlapKap will soon launch in Saudi Arabia. The company also expects wider MEA expansion and rapid merchant acquisition.
After a 3-year consecutive dip in VC funding in MENA, dropping by 25% between 2018 and 2020, the E-commerce sector picked up in 2021 to reach a new all-time high. Recording more than 200% YoY growth in capital invested in the sector, the E-commerce space raised south of $500M in 2021 for the first time since 2017. As recorded in our E-commerce 2022 Venture Investment Report, this was in part driven by the success of B2B solutions, raising almost 90% of all investment in the sector in geographies like Egypt over 2021. This also comes amidst a genera spike in FinTech investment in Emerging Venture Markets, where the sector crossed the $2Bn mark in funding over 2021 and has already raised almost half that amount in the first quarter of this year with startups Flutterwave (Nigeria) and Rain (ME) both raising Mega Rounds this year.
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FlapKap’s management team has a proven entrepreneurial track record in e-commerce, media, and digital banking. Co-founder/CEO is Ahmad Coucha - the co-founder of MENA’s leading advertising agency Kijamii and a Harvard graduate. The founding team also includes Khaled Nassef, co-founder/CTO and formerly of German neobank N26 and Amazon; Amr Gamal, COO, former McKinsey and P&G; and Sherif Bichara, FinOps Manager, formerly at Helios and Lazard. Ahmad Coucha, co-founder and CEO of FlapKap, said, “We are delighted to announce our launch and fundraise, and have the backing of such an esteemed investor as A15 - one of the leading venture capital firms in the MENA region. It is a testament to our business model and validates our strategy. We have taken a proven international business model and adapted it for the Middle East. Our solution empowers SMEs and startups to grow sustainably, without losing equity, and to help manage their cashflows. With a first-mover advantage and a huge market opportunity, we are excited to extend the growth opportunities we have unlocked for our early clients to the whole region.”
FlapKap’s market opportunity is substantial. In 2017, Bain & Company reported the wider MENA e-commerce market was worth $8.4 billion, with an annual growth of 25% since 2014, and predicted the market to reach $28.5 billion by 2022. FlapKap expects these figures to have increased substantially due to accelerated adoption catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The startup will be able to utilize its newly acquired funds to support its expansion into new geographies and further back its flexible subscription models. Karim Beshara, General Partner at A15, concluded, “A15 is proud to lead the fundraise for FlapKap and to back its CEO, Ahmed Coucha, for –our second venture together. FlapKap is not only a visionary company with an excellent business model, but it is creating real tangible value for the region by helping SMEs grow. It also has a first-mover advantage in a significant market, all of which creates a very bright future.”
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