Back to the complete issue
Thursday, 17 September 2020

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.

Enterprise is a daily publication of Enterprise Ventures LLC, an Egyptian limited liability company (commercial register 83594), and a subsidiary of Inktank Communications. Summaries are intended for guidance only and are provided on an as-is basis; kindly refer to the source article in its original language prior to undertaking any action. Neither Enterprise Ventures nor its staff assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, whether in the form of summaries or analysis. © 2022 Enterprise Ventures LLC.

Enterprise is available without charge thanks to the generous support of HSBC Egypt (tax ID: 204-901-715), the leading corporate and retail lender in Egypt; EFG Hermes (tax ID: 200-178-385), the leading financial services corporation in frontier emerging markets; SODIC (tax ID: 212-168-002), a leading Egyptian real estate developer; SomaBay (tax ID: 204-903-300), our Red Sea holiday partner; Infinity (tax ID: 474-939-359), the ultimate way to power cities, industries, and homes directly from nature right here in Egypt; CIRA (tax ID: 200-069-608), the leading providers of K-12 and higher level education in Egypt; Orascom Construction (tax ID: 229-988-806), the leading construction and engineering company building infrastructure in Egypt and abroad; Moharram & Partners (tax ID: 616-112-459), the leading public policy and government affairs partner; Palm Hills Developments (tax ID: 432-737-014), a leading developer of commercial and residential properties; Mashreq (tax ID: 204-898-862), the MENA region’s leading homegrown personal and digital bank; Industrial Development Group (IDG) (tax ID:266-965-253), the leading builder of industrial parks in Egypt; Hassan Allam Properties (tax ID:  553-096-567), one of Egypt’s most prominent and leading builders; and Saleh, Barsoum & Abdel Aziz (tax ID: 220-002-827), the leading audit, tax and accounting firm in Egypt.