Meet the 10 startups from tenth cycle of Flat6Labs Cairo

Flat6Labs Cairo, one of the oldest accelerators of the region hosted the demo day of their tenth cycle yesterday which was attended by different investors, government officials and other members of the local startup community.

Since starting in 2011 from Cairo, Flat6Labs has come a long way expanding to 5 new locations with Bahrain being the most recent one. The accelerator has helped hundreds of companies in these eight years with more than 70 of them in Cairo including names like Instabug, Nafham, Takstky, Pushbots, MoneyFellows and very recently Harmonica.

All the startups in this cycle of Flat6Labs Cairo went through the four-month acceleration program to receive coaching, mentorship and advice from subject matter experts.

Every startup also received $28,000 investment in exchange of 10% equity. These are much better terms than what the accelerator used to offer previously.

I had the chance to watch some of the pitches online and it seems that Flat6Labs has got some really cool startups this time. These are all the ten startups from the tenth cycle (in no particular order).

1) Weelo

Co-founded by Mohammad Asfour and Sophia Korayim, Weelo allows people to order groceries from the nearest supermarket. The users can browse the groceries that are arranged into different categories on Weelo’s apps for Android & iOS, select whatever they’d like to buy and place the order.

The order is then sent to one the nearest Weelo partner supermarket who packs everything and confirms that the order is ready and that’s when a driver (contracted on per delivery basis) in Weelo’s network receives a notification, goes to pick up the order from the supermarket and delivers it to customer’s doorstep.

The startup claims that they deliver within 45 minutes.

For supermarkets, it does not only serve as a distribution channel by streamlining the order and delivery process but also provides them with analytics and real-time inventory management system.

2) Wasel

Wasel is a Cairo-based transportation startup offering people inter-city trips in regular cars. The startup has fixed routes on fixed times and allows people to book a seat on these trips using their website. Currently, the only fixed-route available on their website is Minya – Cairo – Minya which costs ~$8.5 (150 EGP) for one way. It is probably within the same range as a regular bus ticket. Wasel also allows users to request full cars for one-way or return trips between different cities including Cairo, Asyut & Aswan.

It’s an area where Careem and Uber have not entered yet. Careem does offer inter-city trips in different markets including Saudi & Pakistan but there’s no option of sharing the seats with someone – you’ve got to book the whole car which could be very expensive sometimes. Wasel seems to be solving a real problem here. Only if they could find a way to scale it properly with apps and inventory of seats available throughout the day on the routes it has, this could turn into something big.

3) Transpooler

Transpooler is a transport management system for schools and other educational institutes. The startup has developed a set of web and mobile applications that allow bus driver to mark attendance of students, parents to track the bus location in real-time and the school administrator to monitor trips and ensure the safety.

Unlike some other similar solutions, Transpooler doesn’t require a standalone GPS device to be installed on the vehicles and relies on the GPS of driver’s cell phone.

What’s interesting is that at least three similar startups have emerged in the last six months or so who are trying to do the same thing in countries like United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Oman. For Egypt, however, Transpooler seems to be the first mobile-based solution in this area.

4) Tombeely

Buying auto parts could be a very painful process. Tombeely with its web-based marketplace wants to make it easy for anyone to buy car spare parts, accessories, and lubricants from all over Egypt.

In their pitch, the founder said that they’re trying to build the largest database of spare parts in both English and Arabic in the Middle East and want Tombeely to eventually become a marketplace for all car-related parts, accessories and other things for the whole region.

When a car breaks down, the owner normally doesn’t have the patience to go look for the spare parts online, order and then wait for them. In some cases, however, where it is not an urgent requirement, this might work.

Also, a single car on average has about 30,000 parts in it and there hundreds of makes and thousands of models of cars anywhere in the world. Creating a spare parts database of even a small number of these makes and models could be a daunting task but it seems that Tombeely is ready to give their all.

5) Mosawer

Mosawer is a Cairo-based startup that connects professional photographers and videographers with people and companies who need their services through its online platform.

Co-founded by Mohab Elmandouh, Mohamed Basha & Mourad Ashry, Mosawer was launched last year and currently has more than 1,800 photographers registered with them in 50 different categories.

Anyone looking for a photographer could search for them using different filters available on Mosawer’s web-based platform and book the one they like or post a job with the details and budget to have candidates apply for it.

Mosawer also has some pre-made packages available for businesses looking for photography services.

You can learn more about them in this profile we did on them last year.

6) MedMisr

If you’ve ever tried to file a medical insurance claim, I am sure you’re aware of how difficult the process is. It’s perhaps even more difficult than dealing with a government agency in developing countries.

MedMisr with its digital platform wants to change that. The platform provides medical insurance companies with an online solution for claim management, starting from the first point of service.

The startup provides a new and better experience for all the stakeholders of insurance ecosystem including guarantors, beneficiaries and doctors, by connecting them online offering protection against fraud, by eliminating the use of the regular paper claim form and adding fraud controls.

7) iSagha

iSagha is a platform that allows jewelers to showcase and sell their inventories online. The startup aims to digitize the Egyptian jewelry market by providing them with this new distribution channel to reach a large number of customers.

Customers can buy gold and silver jewelry on iSagha’s website or mobile apps.

Just like most of the ecommerce platforms these days, iSagha also offers different types of payment options including cash on delivery to make buying online easy for users.

I am not really sure if people could actually buy gold or even silver online in a region like Middle East but even if iSagha could capture a very small segment of this market, it could work really well for them as Egypt is among the top ten countries in terms of money spent on buying gold jewelry.

8) Chefaa

Chefaa is a healthtech startup that allows users to order medicines through its mobile applications. The users can place the order by uploading their prescription within the app. The prescription is uploaded by taking a picture of it within the app. After uploading it, the user has to select the area, city and payment method and Chefaa will send this order to the nearest pharmacy in their network and deliver it to orderer’s doorstep.

The startup also offers monthly packages for those who have chronic diseases.

Chefaa currently has more than 100 pharmacies in its network across 9 cities and has successfully facilitated more than 1,000 orders worth ~$7,600 (150,000 EGP). They aim to take the number of pharmacies to 1,000 by the end of 2019.

Even though Chefaa doesn’t really have any direct competition at the moment (that I know of ), it would still face a battle from the last mile delivery platforms esp. the recently launched Glovo as they allow users to request just anything including medicines that are deliver to their doorstep for a flat fee of 10 EGP.

9) Arza2

Arza2 is a recruitment platform for blue-collar jobs. The startup connects blue-collar workforce including technicians, craftsmen, drivers and security guards with employment opportunities through its web-based platform and mobile application.

It also lists the blue collar training opportunities at different companies and vocational training centers for people interested to learn or improve their skills.

The startup during the pitch introduced Arza2 as the first platform in the Middle East for blue-collar jobs, which is obviously not true. There are many others. Yes, not one or two. Tens of other platforms in the region with Egypt’s Forasna being one of them.

However, they might be first in some specific type of functionality or feature and confused it with being first in the category.

10) 7aweshly

7aweshly is perhaps the most interesting startup from this cycle of Flat6Labs. Their mobile apps for Android and iOS serve as a micro-saving tool for people who don’t have a bank account with a focus on youth between the ages of 16 to 21.

According to the information available on their website, the users can deposit money into their 7aweshly account (or whatever it is called) from any Commercial International Bank’s ATM in the country. The startup plans to extend the deposit facility to supermarkets and pharmacies in the future.

It seems that the users can set targets for savings in the app and create a wish-list of the products they would want to buy with these savings so when they reach the target or able to buy an item from their wish-list, they get the sense of accomplishment.

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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