Homzmart, a Cairo-based furniture and home goods marketplace, raised $15 million in funding from Beijing’s investment company MSA Capital and Nuwa Capital, a venture capital firm based in Dubai and Riyadh.
San Francisco-based investment firm Rise Capital, Riyadh-based asset manager Impact46, Dubai-based investment company EQ2 Ventures and London’s venture capital and private equity firm Outliers Ventures also participated in the round.
The investment will help Homzmart to expand in the Middle East and North Africa region and execute its “strategy of consolidating the whole value chain”, the start-up's chief executive and co-founder Mahmoud Ibrahim said.
“We have seized the opportunity to digitise shopping for furniture and home goods. The market opportunity in the region is huge and our business model is perfectly set up for it."
Launched in the first quarter of last year, Homzmart connects home goods and furniture manufacturers/brands with the consumers. Using artificial intelligence, it enables retailers – including the likes of Ikea and Home Centre – to easily reach customers. It offers consumers a one-stop-shop shopping experience with more flexible financing options.
The platform, which features over 55,000 products, is tapping the pandemic-fuelled e-commerce boom. Homzmart's sales grew by more than 30 times in the past one year as shoppers eschewed physical outlets and flocked to online shopping sites to order essential goods amid movement restrictions.
The company, however, did not disclose the value of its sales or the number of its customers.
Since its inception, Homzmart has raised a total of $17.2m.
“The Covid-19 pandemic exposed the extreme vulnerabilities and inefficiencies of the Middle East’s archaic offline retail ecosystem, logistics and supply chain,” said Ben Harburg, general partner at MSA Capital that has over $1.5 billion under management.
“Into the void stepped Homzmart as the next generation, digitally enabled online marketplace … addressing both consumer and enterprise customers,” he added.
The e-commerce market in the Mena region is booming due to the high rates of smartphone and internet penetration.
E-commerce sales are set to triple to $28.5bn in 2022, from $8.3bn in 2017, according to research from Bain & Company and Google.