Kenzz, an e-commerce platform bringing buying to the mass market in Egypt and MENA, is saying that it has raised $3.5 million in seed funding. U.S.-based and MENA-focused enterprise capital agency Outliers Ventures led the spherical. A few of the taking part traders embrace HOF Capital, Basis Ventures, and Samurai Incubate.
The corporate, based this February by Ahmed Atef, Mahmoud Al Silk and Moataz Sami, mentioned it is going to use the seed spherical to develop its product classes, widen the product classes on its platform, rent expertise and put money into tech because it launches its app.
You may examine the e-commerce panorama in Egypt to fintech throughout Africa in that there are extra startups in that sector than others; studies say 20% of tech startups in Egypt are within the e-commerce and retail sectors. A number of components drive the creation of such startups within the nation, together with a younger and concrete inhabitants that has elevated in tandem with web and cell penetration charges rising over time. About 40% of Egyptians buy client items on-line weekly, based on knowledge.
Nevertheless, some, like Kenzz’s founders, consider that web penetration ranges and buying numbers in Egypt masks the truth that e-commerce is but to be absolutely realized and optimized within the North African nation and, extra extensively, throughout the MENA area. Chief government officer Atef advised TechCrunch that they launched Kenzz for this function: to deepen e-commerce adoption in Egypt.
Web shoppers in Egypt primarily buy objects on huge e-commerce platforms reminiscent of Souq, which rebranded as Amazon Egypt in 2021; Jumia; and Midday or social commerce platforms that make the most of Fb pages and teams in a B2B2C method. Atef argues that whereas each fashions have managed to extend e-commerce actions in Egypt, the large e-commerce gamers neglect the mass market and as an alternative focus extra on the three largest cities Cairo, Alexandria and Giza — whereas smaller social platforms have a tendency to offer unreliable and unorganized service. Thus, Kenzz was constructed to fill within the lapses from the 2 fashions: make merchandise accessible to the mass market and provide them in an organized method.
“We’re going after a totally totally different phase that Amazon and the large platforms aren’t taking a look at as they’re centralized in huge cities and in direction of the people who find themselves snug shopping for on-line,” mentioned Atef. “What we’re doing is bringing that have a lot nearer to the lots and constructing a dependable, reliable e-commerce platform that caters particularly for the mass market, fixing for the obstacles to purchasing, whether or not it’s belief, affordability and relevance, whereas capitalizing on social engagement and social interplay facets of e-commerce.”
Kenzz’s mannequin is akin to gamers like Taager as a result of it’s social. Nevertheless, the mass e-commerce answer is taking a B2C method because it removes the intermediary/resellers, sources merchandise instantly from native producers and affords them to customers. Due to this fact, customers know the precise model promoting to them, Atef mentioned. The platform additionally provides customers reductions of as much as 65% once they make collective purchases with family and friends. In accordance with the CEO, sourcing instantly from producers and importers allows it to safe the very best offers for customers — and the group shopping for characteristic facilitates extra referrals, bringing down its buyer acquisition prices. Group orders may also be despatched to single areas to cut back client supply charges and logistics prices for Kenzz.
“Most customers didn’t see the necessity to pay for deliveries as they may purchase offline and get the product themselves. Nevertheless, they’re discovering out that they pay extra for transportation. So what was attention-grabbing within the pilot is that we’ve seen that individuals wish to share this burden because it grew to become a significant ache level after we talked with customers,” the chief government mentioned. “So if you’re shopping for with your pals, we will ship the order to 1 place. They get to unlock extra financial savings once they select this method.”
Alef additionally acknowledged that Kenzz’s mannequin helps stakeholders on the opposite finish — native producers and SMEs — by offering knowledge on what customers need and entry to such customers amongst extra insights.
Kenzz is but to launch absolutely into the market as it’s fine-tuning choices to fulfill customers’ demand, which, based on Alef, was grand when the platform soft-launched for 2 months. He mentioned hundreds of shoppers used the platform inside this timeframe, with 50% ordering from outdoors Egypt’s huge cities. “These numbers assist show this huge potential outdoors the large cities the place individuals weren’t snug shopping for on-line. However if you’re so related to them, when it comes to model merchandise, costs and experiences, you unlock this enormous potential.”
In an announcement, Sarah AlSaleh, a accomplice at Outliers Enterprise Capital, mentioned the asset-light Kenzz is fixing two key points that present e-commerce incumbents aren’t addressing: reasonably priced and dependable last-mile logistics and an uncompromising buyer belief philosophy. She references Kenzz’s founding staff — with expertise from Vodafone, Google, Amazon and Jumia — as one of many causes Outliers invested. “The range and depth of Kenzz’s founding staff strongly positions them to mix a large number of experiences and experience into making a category-defining firm and e-commerce champion for Egypt,” mentioned the accomplice.