By 2024, Egypt’s social e-commerce business will be valued more than $14.8 billion. The market potential may be ascribed to the country’s growing number of online social sellers (over 1.25 million), who assist unknown firms in selling and distributing their products via various networks.
In the last three years, Brimore, which is the market leader in the country and a small part of Africa, has seen a lot of growth. The company has now raised $25 million in a Series A round. Mohamed Abdulaziz and Ahmed Sheikha launched the firm in 2017.
Both founders saw how difficult it was for developing companies to get their goods to the mass market while working in the FMCG industry. This was owing to the dominance of established brands, who had created distribution infrastructure for themselves over time.
But at the other hand, hundreds of people, mostly women and stay-at-home parents, wanted to establish their own e-commerce businesses but had no idea how to do so or what to offer.
“We started working on Brimore with the mindset of actually manufacturing products ourselves. However, producing our products wasn’t the wisest decision at that time as it was a very asset-heavy model,” CEO Abdulaziz told in an interview.
“So we started scaling with listing different products. And at the same time, it was very insightful to see how the network formed on the other side. From a seller perspective, we started onboarding more and more sellers. Most of them happen to be women.”
Brimore is an omnichannel social commerce platform that links both worlds via an app. As a result, small and medium-sized suppliers may be able to provide access to these developing items to these people, who also work as sellers and word-of-mouth marketers. In this manner, the manufacturers can focus on their promotion and marketing while the sellers establish their e-commerce enterprises and make some additional money.
Brimore boasts that their income has increased 400% in the last three years. On the platform, there are over 300 vendors with over 8,000 distinct SKUs from packaged meals, personal care, and home items. In addition, the social commerce platform has created a network of 75,000 vendors in Egypt, with 74% of them being women, encompassing 27 cities, mostly in rural and isolated regions.
Brimore employs “its unique infrastructure–which is an ecosystem of supply, demand, logistics and finance– and proprietary technology to avail market penetration opportunities to emerging brands owners.” according to a statement.
“We are building a smart and reliable infrastructure and a full ecosystem that enable masses to do commerce. So anyone– with a shop or a stay at home mom–can do commerce business with Brimore either online or offline,” said Ahmed Sheikha, the company’s chief business and investment officer.
When vendors sign up for the site, they are presented with a variety of product photos from various manufacturers. They post these images on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Telegram, as well as create orders and put them on the app. Brimore’s delivery procedure is determined by where the sellers want their items delivered: to themselves or to their end users. While many sellers prefer to have their items delivered to their homes, Brimore’s owners claim that the availability and flexibility of both alternatives set it apart from comparable social commerce platforms like Taager.
Brimore earns a profit on the pricing discrepancy between suppliers and sellers. A spin-off named Milezmore handles the company’s warehouse, last-mile, and fulfilment infrastructure; prior to last year, third-party logistics managed such activities.
According to Abdulaziz, 24 percent of Brimore’s sellers claim a’significant change’ in their lifestyle and 88 percent indicate an increase in revenue since they started using the site.
Brimore’s next step will be to “expand in Egypt by 50x during the next couple of years,” according to the company’s CEO. Other monies will be used to increase the company’s logistical and operational infrastructure, double its employees, treble product catalogues, and quadruple its network of vendors and suppliers.
Brimore’s aspirations to expand financial products, notably loans, and duplicate its Egyptian efforts across other African countries were also discussed during the call by Abdulaziz.
“We want to crack the concept of go to market in Africa. We know that Africa is like 54 different markets with distinct dynamics of every market,” he said. “Our vision is if we crack the concept of go-to-market through people and reaching the online and offline and the component of trust all together, towards the new age of commerce, the cross border trade will be our next thing. Anyone can produce anything can sell anywhere because we enable the hard part about market access.”
The fresh funding round was spearheaded by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Endure Capital. This is the IFC’s biggest direct investment in the social commerce market internationally, according to Walid Labadi, the country manager for Egypt.
Fintech behemoth Fawry, Flourish, and Endeavor Catalyst Fund are among the other investors. Existing investors such as Algebra Ventures (which led both series), Disruptech, and Vision Ventures participated in the $800,000 seed round and $3.5 million Series A.
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