An Egyptian startup Brimore believed to be a market leader in the subject country, having witnessed impressive growth over the last three years, has just scored $25 million in a Series A round led by International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Endure Capital.
According to Walid Labadi, IFC’s country manager for Egypt have it that its corporation’s largest direct investment in the social commerce space globally. The latest round also saw the participation of fintech giant Fawry, Endeavor Catalyst Fund, Flourish coupled with existing investors such as Algebra Ventures, Disruptech, and Vision Ventures.
Founded in 2017 by ‘Mohamed Abdulaziz’ and ‘Ahmed Sheikha’, it should be borne in mind that both founders were inspired to launch the product, having worked in the FMCG business, in the process they figured out how difficult it was for emerging brands to get their products to the masses due to existing dominance from established brands, who, for the most part, have established their distribution infrastructure for themselves over the years.
While a good number of women in the subject market are faced with the challenge of how to start their e-commerce shops, a clue on how to go about it remained a huge concern, despite not having products to sell.
According to the company CEO Abdulaziz, who said: “We started working on Brimore with the mindset of actually manufacturing products ourselves. However, producing our products wasn’t the wisest decision at that time as it was a very asset-heavy model”.
“So we started scaling with listing different products. And at the same time, it was very insightful to see how the network formed on the other side. From a seller perspective, we started onboarding more and more sellers. Most of them happen to be women”.
Noting that the startup Brimore is one that connects both worlds via a social commerce platform. As it ensures that small and medium-sized suppliers could pave way for these individuals – who double as sellers and word-of-mouth marketers-access to these emerging products. Based on this, these manufacturers are braced with advertising and marketing on lock, which, in turn, enable these sellers to start their e-commerce businesses and earn extra cash.
Over the past three years, the company claimed to have grown about 400x in revenue. Noting that more than 300 suppliers with approximately 8,000 different SKUs from personal care, packaged foods, and household goods are on the platform. The subject platform has also built a network of 75,000 sellers (74% of them are women) which cut across 27 cities, but more significantly rural and remote areas in Egypt.
As a result, the company in a statement made clear that it uses “its unique infrastructure – which is an ecosystem of supply, demand, logistics, and finance – and proprietary technology to avail market penetration opportunities to emerging brands owners”.
“We are building a smart and reliable infrastructure and a full ecosystem that enable masses to do commerce. So anyone – with a shop or a stay-at-home mom – can do commerce business with Brimore either online or offline”, according to the company’s chief business and investment officer ‘Ahmed Sheikha’.
The company CEO also made clear that Brimore is poised to crack the traditional concept of go-to-market in the continent of Africa as it plans to introduce financial products, precisely credit, and replicate its Egyptian efforts across other African markets.
“We want to crack the concept of go to market in Africa. We know that Africa is like 54 different markets with distinct dynamics of every market”, Abdulaziz said. “Our vision is if we crack the concept of go-to-market through people and reaching the online and offline and the component of trust all together, towards the new age of commerce, the cross border trade will be our next thing. Anyone can produce anything can sell anywhere because we enable the hard part about market access”.
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