Egyptian e-commerce startup ExpandCart raises $2.7m pre-Series B bridge round


Egyptian e-commerce startup ExpandCart has secured a US$2.7 million pre-Series B bridge round of financing it will use to fuel its growth.

The startup was founded by Amr Shawqy, Sameh Nabil, and Yasser Seleem back in 2013. The trio ran an online electronics store, which they sold to a local retailer, after which they received multiple requests from other retailers to build an online store for them – leading to the formation of ExpandCart in 2016.

“We realised the need for a platform like ExpandCart that can help merchants and retailers build their online store by themselves without the need for any technical assistance,” Shawqy, now the startup’s chief executive officer (CEO), told Disrupt Africa.

Now used by more than 25,000 merchants in over 40 countries, ExpandCart provides comprehensive e-commerce solutions to enable merchants and retailers to build their online stores and expand their sales. 

The startup’s omni-channel selling solution includes a feature-rich and customisable platform for building online storefronts, an integrated cloud point-of-sale system for retailers, and a connected branded merchant mobile app.

After raising a US$2.5 million Series A funding round, ExpandCart saw strong growth during COVID-19 lockdowns and beyond, and has now secured US$2.7 million in pre-Series A bridge funding. The round is led by Hong-Kong based Betatron Venture Group, with participation from existing investors Sawari Ventures and Agility Ventures.

The new round of funding is set to fuel ExpandCart growth in current markets while focusing on maximising R&D, technology building, and new products to enable one million merchants within the next three years across the MENA region.

It is also currently preparing to start a new financing round, which will be dedicated to new market expansion and developing a comprehensive ecosystem of commerce products and solutions that will help the company acquire new segments of merchants with business needs that go beyond just a traditional online store.

“E-commerce growth has been impressive in the Middle East, and we are proud to be one of the leading players to help millions of businesses go online. With this round, we are committed to being more customer-centric than ever, to build top-class operations, and we will continue to focus on creating the most comprehensive suite of products to help our merchants succeed,” Shawqy said.

Matthias Knobloch, managing partner of Betatron Venture Group, said his firm had been working ExpandCart since January 2019, and was part of its pre-Series A investment round.

“We’re incredibly excited about the prospect of the e-commerce market in the region and believe ExpandCart will be at the forefront of driving its growth. The Pre-Series B round will allow the company to further accelerate its business development and set the stage for a larger Series B in 2022,” he said.