The Egyptian social e-commerce market will be worth over $14.8 billion by 2024. The opportunity in the market may be assigned to the growth of online social sellers in the country, more than 1.25 million of them, helping little-known brands to sell and distribute their products through different networks.
Brimore – a market leader in the country and to some extent in Africa – after experiencing impressive growth over the past three years, raised $25m in a Series A round. The company was founded by Mohamed Abdulaziz and Ahmed Sheikha in 2017.
While working in the FMCG industry, the two founders saw how difficult it was for emerging brands to bring their products to the mass market due to the dominance of established brands, which for most had built up a distribution infrastructure over the years.
On the other end, thousands of people, especially stay-at-home women and moms, wanted to start their e-commerce stores but didn’t know how to go about it and also had no products to sell.
“We started working on Brimore with the idea of making products ourselves. yetproducing our products was not the wisest decision at the time because it was a very asset-heavy model,” CEO Abdulaziz told TechCrunch in an interview.
“So we started to evolve by listing different products. And at the same time, it was very enlightening to see how the network formed on the other side. From the point of view of the sellers, we started integrating new more and more vendors, most of them happen to be women.
Brimore connects the two worlds through one app as an omnichannel social commerce platform. Thus, small and medium-sized suppliers could give these people, who are both sellers and word-of-mouth marketers, access to these emerging products. In this way, these manufacturers lock in advertising and marketing while these sellers start their e-commerce businesses and earn extra money.
Over the past three years, Brimore claims to have increased its revenue about 400 times. Over 300 vendors with approximately 8,000 different SKUs of packaged food, personal care, and household items are on the platform. The social commerce platform has also built a network of 75,000 sellers (74% of whom are women) spanning 27 cities, principally rural and remote areas, Egypt.
Brimore, in a statement, said it uses “its unique infrastructure – which is an ecosystem of supply, demand, logistics and finance – and its proprietary technology to provide market penetration opportunities for brand owners. emerging”.
“We are building smart, reliable infrastructure and a comprehensive ecosystem that enables the masses to trade. So anyone – with a store or a stay-at-home mom – can trade with Brimore online or offline,” said Ahmed Sheikha, business and investment director of the company.
When sellers register on the platform, they see various images of products from different manufacturers. They share these photos on their social networks: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Telegram, generate orders and place them on the application. Once Brimore has confirmed, their delivery process depends on where sellers want their products delivered: them or their end consumers. The founders say that while sellers often want the products on their doorstep, the availability and flexibility of both options sets Brimore apart from similar social commerce platforms such as Taager.
Brimore earns a margin from the difference between supplier and seller prices. The company runs its warehousing and last-mile and fulfillment infrastructure through a spin-off called Milezmore; prior to last year, third-party logistics handled these operations.
Abdulaziz, highlighting how beneficial Brimore has been for its sellers, said 24% of them report a “significant improvement” in their lifestyle and 88% report an increase in their income since they started selling. use the platform.
The next phase for Brimore would be to “expand in Egypt 50 times over the next two years,” the chief executive said in a statement.. The other use of the funds is to expand its logistics and operational infrastructure, double its workforce, triple its product catalogs and quadruple its network of vendors and suppliers.
Abdulaziz, on the call, also mentioned Brimore’s plans to introduce financial products, especially credit, and to replicate his Egyptian efforts in other African markets.
“We want to break the concept of commercialization in Africa. We know that Africa is like 54 different markets with distinct dynamics of each market,” he said. “Our vision is that if we break the concept of going to market through people and achieve the online and offline and the trust component all together, towards the new era of commerce, cross-border commerce will be our next thing. Anyone can produce anything and sell anywhere because we make the hardest part of market access easy..”
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Endure Capital led the new funding round. Walid Labadi, IFC Country Director for Egypt, said this is the company’s largest direct investment in the social commerce space globally.
Other investors include fintech giant Fawry, Flourish, Effort Catalyst fund. Existing investors who participated in its $800,000 seed round and $3.5 million in Series A, such as Algebra Ventures (led both rounds), Disruptech and Vision Ventures participated.