ExpandCart, an e-commerce platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), has announced that it has closed a new funding round at $2.7m.
The round was led by the Betatron Venture Group, a Hong Kong-based venture capital firm, with the participation of Sawari Ventures from Egypt and Agility Ventures from Kuwait
ExpandCart is one of the largest online store creation companies and platforms in the MENA region.
Founded in 2016, the company has expanded in more than 40 countries around the world with a customer base of more than 25,000 merchants who have generated more than $850m worth of profits by working across the markets of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, and the UAE.
Regarding the new funding round, it was earmarked to support ExpandCart’s growth in existing markets and expansion into new markets with a focus on maximising research and development efforts in addition to building new technologies and products to supply one million merchants over the next three years in MENA with smart technology products.
This includes the newly launched product, ExpandBot, a chatbot application that helps merchants interact with their customers and respond to their inquiries via Facebook Messenger without the need to increase customer service staff.
It is estimated that the e-commerce market in the region has been achieving a compound annual growth rate of 35% over the past five years, while studies indicate the possibility of a further acceleration in the growth rate of e-commerce between 2020 and 2022 to reach a compound annual growth rate of 20% and an additional annual growth rate of 14% until 2025.
For its part, ExpandCart is currently preparing to start its ‘Series B’ funding round, which will be dedicated to expanding into newer markets and developing a comprehensive electronic system for products and business solutions that will help the company acquire new segments of merchants whose needs go beyond just a traditional online store.
“The growth of e-commerce in the Middle East has been really impressive, and we are proud to be one of the key players in this growth by helping millions of businesses in the region operate online. Through this round, we are committed to being more customer-centric than ever to build highly successful and seamless e-commerce operations. We will continue to focus on developing a more comprehensive suite of products to help our merchants succeed,” said Amr Shawky, the Co-Founder and CEO of ExpandCart.
“We have been working with Amr and the ExpandCart team since January 2019 as part of the introductory A Series and we are very excited about the accelerated growth and future of the e-commerce market in the region. Also, we believe that ExpandCart will be a key support in driving growth, as the preliminary B Series round will allow the company to further accelerate the growth of its business and pave the way for a larger financing round of the same series in 2022,” added Matthias Knobloch, the business partner of Betatron Venture Group.
“We are pleased to continue to support ExpandCart along with a strong group of partner investors who believe in the potential of ExpandCart and the region’s e-commerce marketplace and their ability to grow on a regional level. We are also confident in ExpandCart’s ability to remain the leading e-commerce platform in the region by providing exceptional integrated services to merchants with diverse and specific needs to grow their businesses,” concluded Ahmed Al-Alfi, the Co-founder and Chairman of Sawari Ventures.