Jordanian startup Faylasof has raised an undisclosed amount of seed investment from Financial Horizon Group, a Saudi investment firm and AdamTech, an Amman-based VC firm founded and run by Suhaib AlKhawaldah and co-founders of Arabic online encyclopedia Mawdoo3, Moh Jaber and Rami Alqasmi.
Founded in 2015 by Mohammad Zatara, Faylasof is an online bookstore that sells Arabic & English books. The startup claims to have more than 1 million titles available on its website.
Faylasof ships books all over the world with a focus on Middle East.
For the users ordering from Middle East, the startup offers different payment options including cash on delivery. The cash handling however, is not very cheap, ranging between $3 to $7 depending on the delivery location, which essentially means that a user could end up paying 50% of the price of the book as cash handling charges when they’re ordering one book. But that’s how cash works and they’re currently working to bring this cost down.
What makes Faylasof different in this space in the region, is the fact that it does not hold any inventory, Mohammad Zatara, the founder & CEO of Faylasof told MENAbytes.
“We are the first online bookstore in the region that offers direct integration with the publishers which results in seamless orders for great customer experience,” said Zatara.
Since starting in 2015, Faylasof has served more than 150,000 customers in the region.
Fayalsof was the winner of recently held first edition of Ras Al Khaima Seaside Startup Summit in United Arab Emirates.
The startup now aims to use this investment to acquire more publishers and customers, Mohammed Zatara told us.
They’re going up against some very big players.
Backed by Wamda Capital, Aramex, and some other big names of the region, Jamalon, the leading ecommerce platform in the region for books already has about 10 million titles and a very big customer base.
And then there are other regional ecommerce websites as well that sell books including the likes of Souq and Noon.
Doesn’t look like an easy task.