Cairo-based contech startup Elmawkaa has raised a six-figure Seed round led by Flat6labs and joined by a group of Oqal angels from Saudi Arabia after joining 500 Startups’ Misk second batch in 2019,
Elmawkaa, a startup founded by Ebrahem Anwar, Mahmoud Habib, and Mohamed Thabet in late 2017, uses matching algorithms to make buying and selling building materials easier. Customers interested in purchasing construction supplies can use the website to request quotations from high-quality suppliers on the platform and compare them.
Ebrahem Anwar, the co-founder and CEO of Elmawkaa speaking about how they’re different from other players in the market said that they’re not a listing platform “We are not a listing or ordinary marketplace, we are digitalising and innovating the process of buying building materials through a bidding process and our matching algorithms, which we built with our hands that deliver accurate and competitive quotations based on our experience in engineering, business, and software development in the last decade.”
Elmawkaa’s focus on buying and selling building materials also provides the best customer service and high-quality suppliers.
“Our plan is to be the best at the domain we compete in and make the purchasing process seamless,” Anwar added.
CBO of Elmawkaa, Mohamed Thabet said: “I still remember the first campaign we have launched and the first client we have dealt with. It was too vague to figure out the best way to penetrate the market and generate revenues as well. Shall we start with suppliers or contractors? How can we ensure our customers’ satisfaction? But after many A/B tests, experiments, and exerting a double effort to deal with our shortages, we were able to determine an inclusive framework of where to start.”
Since graduating from the accelerator in late 2019, the startup that was part of 500startups seems to have made significant progress: it has onboarded over 1000 suppliers organically, received over 4.5K quotation requests, and its GMV has surpassed $1 million.
“Many sceptics told us because we are the first movers we will not succeed but we believed in the relentless team we have and in our experience in construction and technology,” Ebrahem Anwar said.
Thabet added: “Our success in striking partnerships with the biggest suppliers and key players in the market was a strong validation for what we are offering to the market.”
Elmawkaa’s CTO, Mahmoud Habib said: “The market of building materials in Egypt estimates at $17.5 billion, representing 30 per cent of the value market in Mena. It is expected to have sustainable growth to reach more than $62.3 billion by 2029.”
Elmawkaa was able to survive COVID-19 thanks to five factors: mentors, listening to consumers, learning how to prioritize, experimenting, and being customer-centric.
By 2022, Elmawkaa aims to have onboarded 2,000 suppliers and completed 4,000 transactions worth $2 million in GMV. It aims to reach every city in the country by 2023, enlist more than 4,000 suppliers, and list more than 10,000 products, with 11,000 transactions worth $6 million in GMV. It intends to expand to Saudi Arabia by 2024, starting with Riyadh and aiming for a $30 million GMV.