Wasla, Egypt’s E-commerce Platform Receives $9M From Retail Provider

Wasla, Egypt's E-commerce Platform Receives $9M From Retail Provider
Wasla, Egypt's E-commerce Platform Receives $9M From Retail Provider

Egypt’s non-bank consumer finance provider, Contact Financial Holding, has invested $9 million in Wasla, the country’s e-commerce super-app, paving the way for the launch of new online shopping capabilities, products, and regional expansion.


Contact has been in the consumer finance business since 2001, while Wasla was founded in 2018 by ex-Rocket Internet entrepreneurs Serag Meneassy and Taymour Sabry, as well as investment banker Mahmoud El-Said.


“It’s an equity investment, through a series of investments, to enable their business plan and achievement of the company’s vision,” Contact Financial Holding chairman Hazem Moussa.


The e-commerce platform will now launch a number of new products and services, including buy now, pay later (BNPL) financing and a new online payment option.


Wasla, whose experience is based on its browser, has a variety of features, such as a deal finder that aggregates discount codes and cashback links from a network of merchants. As it continues to add new functionalities for a better end-to-end shopper experience, it plans to introduce a price-comparison tool.


“During the checkout phase, we intend to introduce a very secure payment method…that is not time or value limited.” The final step is to incorporate financing or buy now, pay later solutions directly into that. It is a complete e-commerce experience, from search and discovery to financing.” Wasla’s co-founder and CEO


Because Egypt is currently a predominantly cash-on-delivery market, which El-Said described as a “costly operation for merchants,” the new payment option is intended to encourage shoppers to transact online.


Offline payment is also an expensive option for buyers because it includes a cash-on-delivery fee.


Contact (previously Sarwa Capital) intends to use its experience in consumer finance and technology, including its advanced credit services platform, to assist Wasla in extending financing to customers. Contact is said to be one of the first financial services platforms in Egypt to implement advanced credit scoring and collection mechanisms.

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“We’re working on expanding what we’ve built in terms of credit engines, AI scoring engines, and a variety of tools…including instant approval, fast approvals, and pre-approvals,” Moussa explained.


“With the entire experience being on the Wasla browser, you have a lot more access to customer behavior and customer interests and thus be able to really tailor the programs to the user base and so that is really a big addition to the experience — from the start of the journey to the payments to the financing,” he explained.


Wasla currently has 1.5 million downloads and has grown total e-commerce traffic by 8.5 times year on year since its inception. It collects transactions for a network of over 100 local and regional e-commerce merchants.


The e-commerce startup is also planning regional expansion, with immediate plans to enter Nigeria.


“At the end of the day, it’s a massive market with roughly 250 million people.” They are technologically advanced, and they have a high rate of ecommerce adoption. It’s an excellent market. There is all of the infrastructure required to start a proper tech business. “In terms of maturity in the tech ecosystem, Nigeria is probably one of the best markets in Africa, competing directly with Egypt, South Africa, and a few others,” El-Said said.


Wasla had previously received $1.2 million in funding from a variety of investors, including Ventures and Glint Consulting, according to reports.


Egypt’s e-commerce sector is estimated to have generated $5 billion in revenue last year, and this figure will grow exponentially as the sector experiences a 22 percent compound annual growth rate over the next four years. Souq.com is a major e-commerce player in Egypt, with net sales of $109 million in the North African country last year.