Welovebuzz, the Moroccan platform that is often referred as Buzzfeed of North Africa is expanding to Egypt. The eight-year-old platform has been creating and distributing entertainment content in French and Arabic from their only office in Casablanca. It is one of the most popular websites among millennials in the country and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors every month. Their content is very popular on social media esp. Facebook with more than 1.6 million people following them on the social network and their content reaching more than 20 million people every month.
The startup will be launching Egyptian version of its platform in English & Arabic within this quarter. They’re currently in the process of hiring a local team in the country. They’re also looking for potential partnerships and acquisitions in the country right now.
Speaking about the expansion, Youcef Es-Skouri, the Co-founder of Welovebuzz told MENAbytes: “Egypt is a great opportunity for us. We have always had a certain proximity with the country’s culture and we have always been impressed by Egyptians’ creativity in term of content or advertising.”
“Egypt is one of the most important content creation hubs in the MENA region. When we started looking at our expansion plans in early 2017, we were amazed not only by the quality and diversity of digital content in Egypt but also by how young and connected are Egyptians. So it’s very natural for us to start with Egypt.” said Youcef about choosing Egypt as the first country to expand beyond Morocco.
Youcef Es-Skouri and Driss Slaoui had co-founded the platform when they were 17. The duo that was in high school at that time could not find any media platform that was representing them and people of their age. So they started Welovebuzz to be the voice of millennials in Morocco.
Welovebuzz currently has a team of over 40 employees in its Casablanca office. What’s interesting about them is that they’ve been completely bootstrapped all these years. One of very few startups in the region that has been able to survive and grow without raising external funding, thanks to their success with branded content. They are currently ‘number one branded content driven media in Morocco’ and have worked with many leading local and international brands including L’Oréal, Nike, P&G, Coca-Cola, Microsoft & Nestle.
The startup has worked with these and many other brands to create engaging content including articles, social posts, and videos. Their latest branded video for Samsung has been watched over 500,000 times, all organic views.
But Egypt would be a totally different ballgame. The country already has some similar platforms that are very popular among the youth there; with MO4’s CairoScene being one of them. Then there are ScoopEmire and StepFeed that cover media and stories from whole Arab world but receive big amounts of traffic from Egypt. But Welovebuzz’s founders and team are very optimistic about the expansion.
“Welovebuzz has been around for 8 years now and we have produced so much content and ran so many experiments that we know the recipe to make things go viral. We believe in content. If you have good content and an engaged audience, agencies, and brands will follow,” Youcef told us.
The initial reaction to their announcement about expanding to Egypt has been quite overwhelming for Welovebuzz’s team with interest from brands, agencies or different people willing to help them in Egypt.
The very young Driss and Youcef have had great success until now but it would be very interesting to see how they fare in their first test beyond Morocco.