Homzmart, an Egyptian-based furniture marketplace today announced that it has raised $1.3 million in seed funding from MSA Capital, Oman Technology Fund (OTF), EquiTrust (Choueiri Group Investment), with participation from 500 Startups among other strategic investors.
Founded by Mahmoud Ibrahim and Ibrahim Mohamed, Homzmart is an e-commerce marketplace that connects home furnishing manufacturers and vendors with customers, selling furniture online. Both founders have a significant e-commerce background. Mahmoud started his ecommerce career with Rocket Internet’s Jumia in 2012 as VP Operations and then went on to build Daraz, the leading e-commerce platform of South Asia as Group COO when the company was acquired by Alibaba. Ibrahim also started with Jumia heading its logistics development and expansion for the last 5 years before founding Homzmart with Mahmoud.
Homzmart aims to focus on the home furnishing sector in MENA region. The platform showcases different designs to help customers personalize their ideas and vision for their home, and bring it to a reality, a feature the founders see as an important part of the furniture purchasing decision.
Mahmoud, the co-founder and CEO of Homzmart said that they started Homzmart to solve the pain points of both customers and furniture sellers/manufacturers, “We are going after a huge market valued at more than $60 billion. There are 25 million people in the MENA region searching for home furnishing every month with no serious player serving them online.”
For customers, Homzmart will build a unique experience that enables customers to confidently shop for their furniture online. The marketplace helps customers choose from thousands of SKUs and sellers on its platform. This is something that is not convenient to do if you are buying offline as the process of shopping furniture offline is extremely time consuming, lacks variety, has limited accessibility and doesn’t enable customers to compare prices. Homzmart addresses all these pain points.”
When it comes to sellers and manufacturers, Mahmoud explained that almost 90% of them do not have showrooms as it is very expensive to open one. “When a customer is looking to make the purchase, they either go to established brands which are mostly pricey or ask their circle of friends for a referral which means a lot of good sellers never get discovered by customers. Homzmart will partner with a fragmented and largely unbranded supplier base to give them direct access to technology, and exposure to new customer base.”, Mahmoud says.
“We can see the market maturing digitally as we’re starting at a time when a large consumer segment is already migrating online. So we don’t have to work very hard to change consumer behavior towards buying furniture online,” he added.
Homzmart said it their first fund to scale their technology, enhance the customer purchasing experience, grow their selection and hire great talents.
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