Egypt-Based Social Commerce Platform Sharwa Raises $2 Million Pre-Seed
Founded in 2022 by Alaa Shalaby, Hassan Elshourbagi, and Mohamed Hanafy, Sharwa allows customers to purchase essential household items like groceries and appliances either individually or as a group.
Sharwa, an Egypt-based social commerce platform, has raised $2 million in a pre-seed funding round co-led by Nuwa Capital and Hambro Oryx Fund, and joined by several other angel investors. The new investment will be used to further develop the platform’s technology and expand the team.
Founded in 2022 by Alaa Shalaby, Hassan Elshourbagi, and Mohamed Hanafy, Sharwa allows customers to purchase essential household items like groceries and appliances using WhatsApp or directly on its app. What makes this service stand out is that customers can do this either individually or within a group of other buyers.
According to the startup, group prices can reach a 40% discount compared to retail prices, and discounts are unlocked when a customer invites another person to buy with them or joins an existing group created by other customers.
“The experience we aim to deliver is similar to going to a hypermarket with family. One person is pushing around the same cart and everyone is able to throw things in,” Alaa Shalaby, Chief Executive Officer, tells StartupScene. “In our model, you all benefit from the low prices unlocked. Our customers love our service as a tool to help them fight inflation.”
Through its platform, the startup aims to address the gap between a large number of social media users and the low levels of e-commerce adoption in Egypt. Since its founding, the startup has grown significantly, attracting tens of thousands of shoppers on its platform. The service is currently available in Cairo and other remote areas where the startup liaises directly with local community leaders to collect orders. Sharwa plans to expand its services to the rest of the country.
After a recent boost, the social commerce industry is expected to grow by 130.6% on an annual basis to reach $1,159 million by the end of 2022, with a recording of CAGR of 71.6% between 2022 to 2028, according to a report by Research And Markets. Local startups driving this growth include Brimore, which raised $21 million in January 2022; and Taager, which raised $6.4 million in July 2021.