Egypt start-up CardoO raises $660,000 to support local tech manufacturing

Smart devices developer aims to grow its market share across Mena by offering affordable products

The Middle East's growing smart device market scene poses a huge opportunity for CardoO, and it plans leverage the lower costs of its products to attract more users. Reuters
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CardoO, an Egyptian start-up that develops smart devices, raised $660,000 in a seed funding round that will help it to grow market share in the region and boost technology manufacturing.

The investment round was led by Alexandria Angels, an network based in Egypt, with the participation of angel investors from Saudi Arabia, Belgium-based Sofico Investments and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Cairo-based company said in a statement on Monday.

CardoO develops products including smart weighing scales, wireless earbuds, smart watches, gaming controllers, sketch tablets and virtual reality goggles, and has about 120,000 users, according to its website.

It has sold more than 100,000 different devices and provides its products through more than 1,000 retail units across Egypt, the statement said.

“This investment will allow the company to improve its products and introduce the first superior application for IoT [Internet of things], in addition to enabling local manufacturers to produce consumer electronics for IoT under our brand name,” its chief executive Ahmed Adel said.

“We aim to provide them with high-quality technologies to local markets to make Egypt an important hub for consumer electronics for IoT in emerging countries.”

CardoO aims to acquire about $200 million worth of the emerging technologies market share in the Middle East and Africa in the next five years, he added.

Egypt is banking on start-ups to help boost its technology industry.

Venture capital funding in Egypt more than doubled to $307m in the first half of 2022 from a year earlier, ranking it third in the Mena region, according to start-up data platform Magnitt.

The number of deals in the country grew by 22 per cent annually to 78 during the first six months of the year.

Meanwhile, the number of smart home devices shipped across the Middle East and Turkey hit 7.3 million in the first quarter of 2022, which is an annual increase of almost 22 per cent, the latest study from the International Data Corporation shows.

Revenue in Egypt's smart home market is expected to hit $486.4m by 2026 from about $260m in 2022 at a compound annual growth rate of more than 17 per cent, data from Statista shows.

The region's overall smart device market is a huge opportunity for CardoO, with consumers in the MEA region spending about $25 billion annually on this market, the statement said.

The start-up aims to exploit the lower costs of its products to attract more users, it said.

Ahmed Adel, chief executive of CardoO, said the start-up has partnered with several Egyptian factories to manufacture its products. Photo: CardoO

“Some consumer segments feel that consumer electronics supported by IoT are expensive,” Mr Adel said.

The start-up has signed partnerships with local factories, as well as international research and development centres to make their devices affordable, he said.

The company recently signed a partnership with Amazon, the world's largest online marketplace, to sell its products through the latter's platform.

It also has similar deals with other online players, in addition to agreements with consumer electronics distribution companies.

Aside from Amazon, it also counts logistics major Aramex, Dubai-based online platform Noon, retailer Virgin Megastore and the Mobile World Congress as its partners.

Updated: October 04, 2022, 3:47 AM