Back to the complete issue
Wednesday, 9 February 2022

Funeral services startup gets USD 1 mn seed funding

Funeral services startup Sokna has closed a USD 1 mn seed round, it announced in a press release (pdf) yesterday. The round saw participation from leading regional and international investors, including Silicon Valley-based Mentors Fund, SBX Capital, ACE & Company, and Kabnoury Ventures, and angel investors including Onsi Sawiris and Ahmed Sadek El Sewedy.

Sokna focuses on providing logistical support to people coping with a death in the family, including supporting the release of burial permits and paperwork, body preparation, cemetery set-up, transportation, hall and condolences service bookings, and obituaries. It combines “an extraordinary unity of compassion and tech-fueled efficiency,” and has the ability to “radically disrupt” the funeral industry, Onsi Sawiris said in the press release.

The firm has grown rapidly since its founding: Sokna launched in late-2020 and has grown threefold in the past year, according to the release. It’s set up operational partnerships with 20 hospitals and businesses in Greater Cairo, has 70 partner vendors, and has performed over 2.5k funerals. It now has more than 50 full-time employees.

And intends to keep going: Sokna plans to use the investment to “scale across the country,” as well as to keep growing its team and its tech to provide more services and products.

** We talked to Ahmed Gaballah, founder and CEO of Sokna, about his morning routine last summer. Check out the interview here.


Dubai-based fintech startup Zywa has closed a USD 1 mn pre-seed round, with participation from Y Combinator, executives from Google, Amazon, Netflix, McKinsey, and Morgan Stanley, and regional bankers and entrepreneurs, according to a press release picked up by Wamda. The company plans to expand to Egypt and in the UAE “soon,” according to the release, and expects to launch in the KSA next year. Founded in 2021, Zywa’s provides a banking app and payment cards for teens and young adults aged 11-21, designed to reinforce financial literacy and promote cashless transactions in the region.

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.