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Monday, 16 August 2021

More startup news than you can shake a stick at

Transport startup Schoolz has closed a six-figure USD pre-seed round from angel investors in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the company said in an emailed statement (pdf). It plans to use the capital to launch several new products, including Schoolz for Business, a new product aimed at commuters that is currently in beta testing, and a new cloud services product, which it plans to debut in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in 4Q2021, co-founder Ayman Hamza tells us.

What’s Schoolz? Launched in late 2020, the company provides an app that enables parents to schedule school transport for their children and track the journey through live cameras and notification updates.

EFG Hermes Finance to invest in 4 startups

EFG Hermes has investments in four startups in its pipeline, EFG Hermes Finance CEO Walid Hassouna told Al Mal. The company is targeting startups in the logistics, fintech, education and health sectors, he said, without providing further information. EFG declined to provide more details when approached for comment by Enterprise.

EFG has an investment arm for startup funding: EFG EV Fintech, which was established as a partnership between Egypt Ventures and the group’s non-bank financial services arm EFG Hermes Finance, aims to increase investments in fintech startups via capital venture firms and accelerators. EFG EV Fintech lists a portfolio of 24 startups, most recently participating in funding rounds held by e-commerce platform zVendo and fintech firm Dayra. EFG Hermes Finance, meanwhile, has invested EGP 60 mn in 35 startups, Hassouna said.

Saudi gifts delivery platform Floward launches in Cairo

Saudi flower and gifts delivery platform Floward has launched in Cairo and will gradually roll out elsewhere in the country, according to a press release. Floward’s services include fresh-cut flowers sourced from around the world and arranged locally by a team of florists. Egypt’s USD 300 mn flower industry offers the company, “a very promising and attractive market,” according to CEO Abdulaziz Al Loughani.

About Floward: Established in 2017, Floward provides same-day delivery of gifts ranging from cakes and chocolate to perfumes to customers across the GCC and the UK. The company had in June raised USD 27.5 mn in a funding round led by Saudi tech VC fund STV, bringing the total raised to date by Floward to more than USD 30 mn. Floward is planning an IPO within the next two years, with London, New York, and Saudi Arabia as possible venues.

Mrsool to introduce e-payments by year’s end

ALSO- Delivery app Mrsool Egypt will introduce an e-payments feature for the first time before year’s end, and has contracted an undisclosed online e-payment gateway provider in Egypt to offer its e-payment feature through Mrsool’s mobile application in 4Q2021, Osama Harfoush, the company’s Egypt country manager, told Mubasher yesterday.

Mrsool — originally based in Saudi Arabia — wants to go public in the GCC: The company is planning to set up a separate entity to carry out requirements for an IPO on the Saudi or UAE stock exchanges, Harfoush said, without going into details or specifying a timeframe for the transaction.

About Mrsool: Established in 2015 in Saudi Arabia, Mrsool is an on-demand delivery network that allows people to place orders for a product then crowdsources the delivery by matching shoppers with couriers, who offer varying prices for their services. Mrsool first rolled out its services in Egypt in mid-2019, and has since then invested almost EGP 300 mn into the local market, according to Harfoush. The app claims to have overtaken Uber and Facebook in terms of number of downloads in KSA.

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