Edfa3ly (“pay for me” in Arabic), the Egyptian international shopper service, has announced that it has secured Series A investment from Tamkeen Capital.
The company allows anyone to buy product from any US-based e-commerce site and get it delivered at their doorsteps, by paying Edfa3ly locally. According to news reports, the company’s service appeals to a wide range of consumers, who buy everything from designer clothes at cheaper prices to high ticket gadgets such as the Segway.
The company was launched by founder Mohamed Attiya in October 2010 with a $17,000 invetment, and one team member, Mohamed Hisham. At the beginning, both were responsible for every aspect of the operation, from answering calls to making purchases and even delivering products with a delivery van that was subsequently stolen during the early days of the Egyptian revolution.
The startup became profitable during its first year. Now, after a “small investment” in Facebook ads, Edfa3ly has reached thousands of registered users in three years, boasting 43% repeat customers. As both operations manager and board member, Mohamed Hisham now heads up a team of 40 in the Egyptian office and 6 at a US-based warehouse.
Edfa3ly doesn’t have any direct competitors in Egypt; The closest services locally include new startup Zaagel, which relies on the crowd to deliver products (likely a less consistent method), and services like Aramex’s Shop And Ship.
“We also compete with some logistics companies who provide a mailbox service that forwards all your packages to your doorstep,” added Attiya. “However they don’t provide the payment service that we do, and we deliver the service for 25% cheaper than the cheapest and 50% faster!”
According to a report on Wamda, the company’s gross revenue has risen to a consistent $350,000 per month, despite recently dropping to around $250,000 per month due to Egypt’s recent military turmoil. Even with the relative drop Edfa3ly were bound to attract the big investors, and this came true when they recently secured a series A round of investment for an undisclosed amount from Tamkeen Capital.
The Edfa3ly team plans to use part of the investment to expand their operations into the Gulf. In addition, Tamkeen also plans to integrate Edfa3ly’s offering with their other companies such as loyalty program app Zoboon, as part of a strategy to create a national and then a regional e-commerce hub.