Social commerce platform Sharwa announces the closing of its pre-seed funding round for $2,000,000 (USD ). The round was co-led by Nuwa Capital and Hambro Perks Oryx Fund and joined by several strategic angel investors. The pre-seed investment will be spent on continued development of the technology platform and on expanding the team.
Inflation has put strain on households globally, where customers are looking for access to more affordable products. Sharwa aims to help customers do just that, starting with Egypt.
Sharwa’s platform allows for customers to get the best prices for their daily purchases on household essentials like groceries, appliances and homecare. Customers can club their baskets into a group order and place them through Sharwa using WhatsApp or directly on its app, unlocking wholesale prices from manufacturers for next day delivery.
In order to provide service in remote areas, Sharwa works with local community leaders, who have been Super Users of the service, to collect orders in their area.
Customers can buy products at two price points- alone or in a group. Group prices reach up to a 40% discount when compared to retail prices; the discounts are unlocked when a customer invites someone to buy with them or joins an existing group created by other customers.
Founded earlier this year by Alaa Shalaby, Hassan El Shourbagi and Mohamed Hanafy, Sharwa aims to address the gap between the large number of social media users and the low levels of ecommerce adoption in Egypt.
The Sharwa team leverages prior experience in strategy, market expansion, operations and product at Kitopi, Careem, Halan, Capiter and Delivery Hero’s Hungerstation collectively.
Since inception, Sharwa has grown significantly, attracting tens of thousands of shoppers to its platform. The service is live in Cairo and nearby areas, and has a 12-month expansion plan to enable service in the rest of Egypt and process hundreds of thousands of orders.
Alaa Shalaby, Chief Executive Officer, shared: “The experience we aim to deliver is similar to going to a hyper market with family; one person is pushing around the same cart and everyone is able to throw things in. In our model, you all benefit from the cheap prices unlocked. Our customers love our service as a tool to help them fight inflation.”
Hassan El Shourbagi, Chief Operating Officer, said: “We empower local manufacturers to reach as many customers as possible in a data-driven way, with the goal of achieving the most streamlined supply chain. We have built an end-to-end value chain sourcing from manufacturers and delivering to customers, letting manufacturers focus on what they do best.”
Mohamed Hanafy, Chief Product Officer, stated: “We have yet to see technology that is tailored for the first time internet users. With a discovery mindset, we are solving day to day needs. And have designed our experience to be simpler, more social and trust worthy.”
Arnav Danthi, Nuwa Capital, commented: “Throughout our conversations with Alaa, Hassan and Hanafy, we were impressed with each individually. They were each operationally experienced and had extensive experience scaling leading, regional tech startups. It was their combined team dynamic, camaraderie and deep passion for their business that finalized our conviction.”
Hambro Perks Oryx Fund’s Ivo Detelinov said: “We’re excited to support a platform like Sharwa, which has identified a key challenge for today’s consumers in Egypt and is addressing it by leveraging technology and social connection. The leadership team has proven experience at innovative and successful consumer businesses in the region and we look forward to seeing how they grow the Sharwa platform.”