Egyptian browser-based shopping platform Wasla raises $9m funding

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Egyptian browser-based shopping platform Wasla has raised US$9 million in funding from Contact Financial Holding to assist with its product rollout and regional expansion.

Founded in 2019 by Mahmoud El Said, Serag Meneassy, and Taymour Sabry, Wasla is the first emerging markets mobile web browser and desktop extension optimised for online shopping. The startup helps users save money online through aggregated deals, discounts, and cashbacks, for a network of over 100, local and regional, e-commerce merchants.

The startup has so far clocked up 1.5 million app downloads, with 8.5x year-on-year growth in total e-commerce traffic, and it also recently secured a partnership to expand its services across Africa. 

To help fund this expansion, Wasla has secured investment from Contact Financial Holding, Egypt’s largest non-bank financial services provider, as part of its Series A round. With the tie-up, Contact will support Wasla’s product rollout and regional expansion with a series of investments totaling up to US$9 million, aiming to realise Wasla’s mission to enable e-commerce, payments and credit for large audiences in emerging markets.

Contact (formerly Sarwa Capital) is Egypt’s largest consumer finance platform, transforming the way people access finance since 2001. Being the first financial services platform to introduce advanced credit scoring and collection mechanisms in Egypt, this strategic investment adds to Contact’s growing footprint in fintech, and especially e-commerce, allowing Contact to engage consumers at the beginning of their e-commerce journey while they search, discover, and shop online. 

The two companies will work together on realising the vision of further enabling e-commerce adoption in emerging markets through its various tools supported by a new suite of financial services offerings including online payments and “buy now pay later”. Operating as an extension to Contact’s core business, Wasla will allow Contact to move into adjacent market segments and attract new user groups. 

“Having personally worked with the Contact team before, I was always amazed at what they have been able to build as a leading consumer finance platform in the region. This is why we believe this deep partnership, leveraging Contact’s market position, experience, and fully digitized loan origination process, will allow us to expand our offering catering to the online shopping experience by introducing completely new ways to help consumers save money on each online purchase, pay securely, build their credit profiles, and borrow flexibly,” said Mahmoud El Said, CEO of Wasla.

Hazem Moussa, chairman of Contact Financial, said he was thrilled to be helping the Wasla team build out its vision of a digital ecosystem enabling online shopping for all.  

“With over 20 years of innovation in consumer financial services, this strategic investment demonstrates Contact’s drive to multiply its reach and empower businesses with its advanced credit services platform,” he said.

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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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