Egypt’s first online platform for rental gowns, La Reina, has just announced a $1 million SEED funding round led by Egypt’s largest venture capital fund, Algebra Ventures, with participation from the global VC fund, 500 Startups.
Hear from the founders, Ghada El-Tanawy and Amr Diab, who share their thoughts on the investment:
In this space many consider it to be e-commerce but effectively the logistics and last mile delivery is just as important as the choice. As you scale how do you solve for the pick up and drop off of dresses?
Our brand philosophy is built on communication. E-commerce is still moving in relatively small steps because our market appreciates human communication; therefore, we are keen on giving such assurance to our clients. Even though the logistics of delivery are set through the website, our team personally delivers the gowns to the venue and help the bride look her best. As for pick up, we have a couriering team, which collects the dresses on the same day; within Cairo.
75% of the team being women is a great statistic to empower female entrepreneurship. Was this by design, virtue of the product or by chance?
Virtue of the product. What makes La Reina stand out among the rising number of local start-ups is our unconventional approach to a dilemma all women go through on a regular basis. Therefore, the idea itself does attract a high number of outstanding female caliber.
Egypt has a huge market and opportunity. Is this aimed at capturing the market in Egypt before scaling internationally? Which country would you look to tackle next?
If you can succeed as a fashion start-up in Egypt, you can do it anywhere. Aside from the massive size of this market, it's diversity makes it quite challenging. Therefore, we are focused on Egypt for the time being. Our next move will certainly be regional, we are quite interested in underrated markets, where very few fashion startups exist - discovering fresh and raw markets is always exciting.
You mention that you are the largest SEED investment in this space. How do you compare to the likes of Designer 24 who do something similar regionally?
As far as we know, Designer 24 has not received any seed investments. On the other hand, their series A investment was only $750K.