Egyptian job site WUZZUF raises $1.7m from European, US VC funds

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Egyptian online recruitment startup WUZZUF has raised a US$1.7 million Series A round, led by Vostok New Ventures and Piton Capital and joined by current investors 500 Startups and Endure Capital.

The funding round for WUZZUF is the largest by international VCs in an Egyptian internet startup for a number of years since political instability began in the country, with BasharSoft, the startup behind WUZZUF, now looking to expand regionally.

WUZZUF is Egypt’s number one job site, having processed more than two million job applications since it launched in 2009. It was also the first startup from Egypt to join 500 Startups accelerator programme in San Francisco, in January 2014.

Previous investors included Egypt-based angel investors Con O’Donnell and Tarek Fahim, with this latest round of funding representing a first investment in Egypt by both Vostok and Piton.

Vostok New Ventures is a Sweden-based VC, with Piton Capital based in the United Kingdom (UK).

“Both already have unicorn startups in their portfolios and invest in businesses with network effects and marketplaces,” WUZZUF said. “Vostok are investors in major fast growing companies such as Delivery Hero and Avito.ru. Piton are investors in major companies such as FanDuel and Quandoo.”

It has not been easy going for WUZZUF since its 2009 launch. It has been fundraising since 2010, and launched its first job site in January 2011, one week before the Arab Spring. After bootstrapping it reached positive cash flow in 2013 and raised its first seed funding the next year. It almost closed down twice, and had to downsize and relaunch in the middle of 2012.

It now has more than 50 employees, and will be taking on board more staff shortly. It plans to use the funding to grow operations and “dominate the fragmented online recruitment market in Egypt and the MENA region”.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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