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Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Used-car retailer Sylndr raises USD 12.6 mn in pre-seed round

Online used-car retailer Sylndr has raised USD 12.6 mn in a pre-seed round led by RAED Ventures, the startup said in a press release (pdf). Other participants in the round included Algebra Ventures, Nuwa Capital, 1984 Ventures, Global Founders Capital, and regional and international angel investors.

That’s a huge raise for a pre-seed round and fits nicely into a trend of larger and larger fundraising rounds we’ve seen in Egypt this year, including Pylon’s USD 19 mn seed round last month, Khazna’s USD 38 mn series A, and Paymob’s USD 50 mn series B.

About Sylndr: Founded late last year by CEO Omar El Defrawy (LinkedIn), a former investment banker, and startup veteran Amr Mazen (LinkedIn), the company sells used cars through its online marketplace. Sylndr says car owners can sell their vehicles in as little as 24 hours. All cars will get a full inspection before being resold, with buyers offered the option to exchange the car for another within a week of purchasing, El Defrawy told Enterprise. Sylndr also hopes to offer consumer financing, “be it through Sylndr directly or in partnerships with banks or buy-now-pay-later platforms,” El Defrawy added.

Where the money’s going: The company will use the funds to expand its operational capabilities, tech, and marketing, and to make new hires. Sylndr hopes to more than double its 40-strong team by the end of the year.

Where plans stand: The company is buying used cars to build its inventory and plans to start selling them next quarter, El Defrawy said. “We want to become the go-to marketplace for used car needs in general. We are starting with fixing the selling experience,” he added.

Why do we need this? “The secondary car market is highly fragmented and more often than not, consumers do not have a trusted counterpart … The market is massive, ripe for disruption,” said Raed Managing Partner Omar Almajdouie.

How will the current turmoil in the car market affect business? Shortages of new cars could present an upside for the used car market, El Defrawy told us. With the limited options right now, consumers are more likely to consider purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, and inflated prices mean some are jumping on the chance to sell their cars at a higher price, he said.

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