Sawari Ventures makes follow-on investment in Egyptian AI startup Elves
STARTUP WATCH- Sawari Ventures has made a follow-on investment in high-profile AI startup Elves, bringing Elves’ total pre-series A funding to nearly USD 5 mn, according to a statement (pdf). The initial funding round, which has been ongoing for two years, closed in February, “with additional follow-on in July reflecting confidence in Elves pre- and post-covid,” the statement says.
How Elves boomed during covid-19: The concierge and personal assistant app has grown its user base by a whopping 500% in the last six months, according to the statement. The bulk of the company’s revenue stream was from industries that were paralyzed by the pandemic, such as booking flight tickets, making hotel reservations, and buying tickets for concerts and the cinema. “We shifted rapidly to a focus on what people would need most while they were confined to their homes,” Elves founder and CEO Karim El Sahy said.
Elves has also brought on optimization whiz Mohamed El Beltagy (LinkedIn) as its new CTO in April as the company scales up its machine learning development, the statement notes. El Beltagy has served as CTO of Swedish AI-powered coaching app Racefox and is also the CEO of machine learning and optimization company Optomatica.
Want to know more about Elves? We sat down with El Sahy and his partner (and wife), Abeer El Sisi, who together founded Elves for the very first episode of our podcast, Making It. Listen to the episode on our website here or try Apple Podcast or Google Podcast.