Fady Malika, the regional director at Zbooni Egypt, said that the company chose Egypt to establish its head office because of the size of the Egyptian market, which hosts about 3.5 million small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
In his interview with Daily News Egypt, Malika revealed that the company had obtained $9.5m funding and that it intends to use it to expand geographically.
Malika also revealed a strategic partnership with Jumia to provide integrated solutions to customers in Egypt through JumiaPay.
Why did you establish your head office in Egypt?
Egypt is home to nearly 3.5 million SMEs, and has a growing community of entrepreneurs and vibrant local companies. The establishment of the head office of Zbooni in Egypt is a real achievement for the company and an extension of the successes it has achieved in supporting and developing SMEs in the United Arab Emirates, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
What is your vision for the Egyptian market?
Our vision involves empowering the next generation of e-commerce by providing electronically supportive methods and technology to increase sales of businesses and companies in Egypt through chat applications such as WhatsApp and Telegram, as well as share carts and payment links to complete purchases and turn interactions and chats into real transactions.
How do the company’s solutions benefit the Egyptian market?
With 50 million users on social media platforms, Zbooni presents an ideal opportunity for companies within the country to receive orders, accept payments, make sales, and keep track of all business operations through a fast and easy-to-use control panel connected to the web and mobile application. This new era of electronic sales is called chat commerce. We are pleased to be the first company in the region to provide such electronic solutions to help companies sell their products and services directly to customers. The average rate of shopping baskets in chat commerce is 2.7 times the figure achieved by traditional e-commerce, and the average conversion rate is 20 times higher than the figure prevailing in e-commerce.
Could you elaborate on your partnership with Jumia?
Jumia is a key strategic partner of Zbooni in the framework of inaugurating our head office and the growth we aspire to achieve in Egypt. Through JumiaPay, we can seamlessly integrate our platform with the capabilities of a secure payment gateway.
With regard to our relationships with companies and the financial transactions of their customers, the factor of trust is very important to us and will drive the growth of electronic sales in the country. This partnership is in line with our vision of empowering businesses, regardless of their size, to seize the most promising opportunities through e-commerce.
What are your plans to expand in Egypt?
We are in the process of growing in Egypt, making strategic appointments and forming partnerships, to achieve our goals in the country. We are always looking to recruit new members to our talented team, and we see a wealth of promising opportunities in Egypt. We are excited to bring local expertise along with technological talent to our new headquarters.
Do you have plans to take Egypt as a starting point for expansion into Africa?
By the end of 2022, online sales in the Middle East and North Africa are expected to exceed $50m, making the region one of the most important emerging markets. This huge growth is due to the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic and digital transformation in all sectors in general. While our focus and commitment is currently on Egypt, as demand for our products continues to grow, we look forward to further regional expansions in the future.
How do the company’s solutions support SMEs?
With the increasing number of customers shopping online, SMEs will need the supportive means and technology to compete. This is where Zbooni plays a massive role. We seek to break down barriers and help all businesses regardless of their size to start selling their products in just a matter of hours. Companies can also open an online store account and start designing and displaying their products. This list of products can easily be shared with customers via social media and chat platforms, enabling them to create custom shopping carts, receive payments and issue invoices in a seamless manner.
Is the company currently conducting funding rounds?
We are a fast growing company backed by regional and global investors. Our company was established in 2016, and our team has doubled to more than 40 employees since 2018 spread across our regional offices in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and now Egypt.
Zbooni has closed its $9.5m funding round of series “A”, targeting geographic expansion, product development, and hiring a strategic team. We are constantly looking for global and regional strategic investors who believe in our vision and are enthusiastic about the opportunities for chat commerce growth in the region.