Egyptian mobile web browser Wasla has raised a US$1 million seed round to fund its growth, increase the size of its team, and launch new products in new verticals.
Founded in 2018 by ex-Rocket Internet entrepreneurs Serag Meneassy and Taymour Sabry alongside former investment banker Mahmoud El Said, Wasla aims to subsidise mobile internet in emerging markets, while simultaneously fostering digital and financial inclusion.
The startup operates as a mobile web browser, including a localised content and digital services aggregator, that subsidises a user’s mobile data costs by leveraging digital advertising. Wasla allows brands to run targeted adverts, and provides complementary services such as field research and affiliate marketing.
After launching a beta version of in December 2018, Wasla has attracted over 100,000 users organically, with no marketing activities. This initial traction allowed Wasla to prove product-market fit, and the startup has now secured US$1 million in seed investment to fund its next phase of growth.
The funding, which takes the total investment secured by the startup to US$1.2 million since its formation, comes from Egypt Ventures, Glint Ventures, and EBTIKAR for Financial Investments, in addition to a group of strategic angel investors.
“Investment is to fuel go-to-market strategy, grow the team, and introduce new product verticals with a focus on financial inclusion,” said El Said, who added that the startup will also open in new markets across the Middle East and Africa.