Raseedi, a Cairo-based startup that helps dual SIM users (in Egypt) optimize their telecom spend through its mobile app, has raised $400,000 in a seed fund round led by 500 Startups with participation of Falak Startups and EFG-EV Fintech, the startup announced in a statement t yesterday.
Founded last year by Ahmed Atalla and Samuel Samy, Raseedi has developed a phone dialer app for dual SIM users on Android that uses a smart algorithm to cross-match user consumption with most suitable packages on both lines and automate calls from the cheapest SIM for each call. In simple words, with Raseedi installed, any dual SIM user will be able to make the cheapest possible calls (from the options that are available), without having to think and choose the options.
The startup, in a statement, said that its app is addressing the pain-point that affects a large part of population Egyptians who are dual SIM users. The cost of a cross-operator minute is up to five more expensive than a minute used on the same network which is why such a large number of Egyptians have resorted to simultaneously use two SIM cards to optimize their spend, Raseedi’s statement explained.
“But with over 500 different packages being offered in the market by telecom operators, it is extremely difficult to subscribe to the most suitable packages for both lines/SIMs,” it added.
That’s where Raseedi helps with its dialer app that has been downloaded over 200,000 times since its launch ten months ago.
The startup will use the latest investment plans to fully automate the experience it offers by allowing users to recharge Raseedi credit instead of recharging two separate SIM cards, “By allowing users to directly recharge Raseedi credit instead of recharging two separate SIM cards, Raseedi will tap into the 100 million EGP daily recharges market.”
Ahmed Atalla, the co-founder and CEO of Raseedi, speaking to MENAbytes explained that they are currently integrating with they key cash collection aggregators to prepare for launch of Raseedi Credit as they aim to offer users a normal recharge experience by adding Raseedi as the fifth recharge option after four operators on POS at every KIOSK and top-up outlet.
Raseedi eventually also wants to expand its offering to food (apparently deliveries), utilities and ride-hailing with its ‘Optimization Wallet’. Raseedi’s initial success (at least in terms of number of downloads) suggests that users in Egypt are looking for such solutions.
Ahmed did not share a timeline but said, “We want to first perfect the telecom experience and solidify user trust before getting into other sectors. If the user relies on Raseedi for measuring, comparing, paying and saving for telecom, unlocking other categories and shifting to a complete Optimization Wallet that manages all their finances will be a natural evolution to our product.”
The Cairo-based startup currently makes money by charging the users a small portion of their savings and a small cut on every top-up from aggregators.
Raseedi doesn’t have any immediate expansion plans but is eyeing some markets in Asia and Africa for expansion, “Duality is huge in many parts of Africa and Asia, with Nigeria and Malaysia exceeding duality percentage of the Egyptian Market. Since we’re a completely digital experience with hardly any on-ground operations, scaling to other markets will be a mere language and market dynamic adaption,” said Ahmed.
Commenting on Raseedi’s launch and early success, Ahmed, explained, “40 million Egyptians are walking around with two SIM cards to optimize telecom spend. We decided to offer them a higher level of optimization that can save them up to 30 percent of their monthly spend with our smart algorithm suggestions. In the first week, we clocked 5,000 downloads with minimal marketing spend and that’s when we knew the market is in need for an optimization app. We shortly left our jobs, joined Falak Startups accelerator and everything flew from there. We’re now on a new mission to optimize spend beyond telecom.”
Samuel Samy, Raseedi’s co-founder and COO said, “We’re expanding and increasing our engineering and commercial teams to develop the “The O-Wallet” or optimization wallet. Within a couple of months, users will be able to recharge and save up to 30% of their credit spend by recharging directly through Raseedi credit. Raseedi will automatically allocate users’ spend among both SIM cards and activate the bundles instantly.”
Sharif El-Badawi, Managing Partner at 500 Startups MENA, said, “We are pleased to support Ahmed and Samuel as they establish and grow Raseedi. Since the launch in January 2019, Raseedi has reached more than 200k downloads, which portrays the need for spend optimization and saving. As lead investors, we are confident that their niche product and the competencies of the team will position Raseedi as a leading player in the telecom and payments industry.”
Mahmoud El-Zohairy – CEO EFGEV Fintech, said, “Having closely monitored Raseedi’s growth since they first joined Falak Startups, it was an easy investment decision; a great team with clear vision and intent with a unique product that serves the masses. We are really delighted to be part of their growth journey. This is only the beginning for Raseedi and we look forward to the continuation of our very promising cooperation and synergies on various fronts.”
Farah Ehsan – Head of Programs & Marketing, added, “It’s rare for a startup to provide genuine value to the entire ecosystem in which it operates, with Raseedi quickly becoming an irreplaceable service for millions of Egyptians. Raseedi has ambitions to become the regional leader in optimization services, and we are delighted to be on board to help them achieve this goal.”