Egypt’s CairoSitters raises funding to rebrand, pivot

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Egyptian startup CairoSitters, which began life as an offline babysitting and tutoring agency has raised funding from local angel fund Kamelizer to rebrand itself as an online marketplace named Orcas.

The undisclosed amount of funding raised from Kamelizer will see CairoSitters, initially launched in 2013, become Orcas from July 13 ahead of a full relaunch in September.

The startup will use the intervening period to onboard existing clients and build a database of babysitters and tutors ahead of its relaunch as an online marketplace. It will also be rolling out free iOS and Android apps.

Chief executive officer (CEO) Hossam Taher told Disrupt Africa the funding round will be used for the technology transition, creating a technology department, and marketing. CairoSitters – or Orcas – is seeking a Series A round now in order to dominate the Egyptian market and move into new ones in the Middle East and Africa.

“We are moving away from an offline babysitting and tutoring agency focused on the market in Cairo to a marketplace for high quality tutors and babysitters ready to scale up and enter cities in the MENA region,” he said.

“Users – who are parents and students – can search and find their own matches, schedule the sessions and pre-job-interviews, pay online or schedule a cash collection through the application, and manage the sessions and monitor progress.”

The marketplace will offer users ratings and feedback tools in order to make the decision-making process easy and fast, with Orcas creating a points system that is affected by many factors.

Payment can be made in-app via credit cards, with users able to find and book a babysitter or tutor in just two minutes.

“Other than revolutionising education and enabling parents to pursue their career without affecting the care quality, we focus on youth employment,” Taher said.

“It is very important to us to create part-time jobs for students and recent graduates in order to enable them to be independent. Whether they want to travel, experience something new, take a course, or simply buy a new phone, we think that is a right and crucial for character building.”

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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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