By Sarah Aly
With the tie-up, Contact will support Wasla’s product rollout and regional expansion with a series of investments totaling up to $9 million aiming to realize Wasla’s mission to enable e-commerce, payments and credit for large audiences in emerging Markets. Contact, (formerly Sarwa Capital), is Egypt’s largest consumer finance platform, transforming the way people access finance since 2001. Being the first financial services platform to introduce advanced credit scoring and collection mechanisms in Egypt, this strategic investment adds to Contact’s growing footprint in fintech, and especially e-commerce, allowing Contact to engage consumers at the beginning of their e-commerce journey while they search, discover, and shop online. This investment reinforces Contacts’ quest to enable tech-first ventures in Egypt’s financing ecosystem. Focused on optimizing the end-to-end online shopping experience, Wasla is the first emerging markets mobile web browser and desktop extension that helps users save money, pay securely, build their credit profiles and gain access to flexible and convenient financing.
Currently, Wasla is focused on optimizing the e-commerce search and discovery experience, by helping users save money online through aggregating deals, for a network of over 100, local and regional, e-commerce merchants (similar to US startup Honey, which sold to PayPal in 2019 for $4 billion).
Founded in 2019 by Mahmoud El Said, Serag Meneassy, and Taymour Sabry, with a partnership with investment firm, Egypt Ventures for a Pre-series A investment, Wasla has grown into a fully functioning team of 35 team members, 1.5 million app downloads, with 8.5x year on year growth in total e-commerce traffic and having also recently attracted a partnership to expand its services across Africa, the fastest growing consumer market in the world. Contact will support Wasla’s product rollout and regional expansion with a series of investments totaling up to $9 million aiming to realize Wasla’s mission to enable e-commerce, payments and credit for large audiences in emerging Markets.
With this strategic partnership, Contact and Wasla will work together on realizing the vision of
further enabling e-commerce adoption in emerging markets through its various tools supported
by a new suite of financial services offerings including online payments and Buy Now Pay Later.
Operating as an extension to Contacts core business, Wasla will allow Contact to move into
adjacent market segments and attract new user groups.
Hazem Moussa, Chairman of Contact Financial, commented “We are thrilled to be supporting
the Wasla team build their vision of a digital ecosystem enabling online shopping for all.
With over twenty years of innovation in consumer financial services, this strategic investment
demonstrates Contact’s drive to multiply its reach and empower businesses with its advanced
credit services platform.” Said Zater, Managing Director and Group CEO of Contact Financial, added “This partnership comes as Contact continues to extend its credit services platform to serve digital channels. We look forward to supporting Wasla in its rollout of payments and financing tools, bringing the quality and superior customer experience that has come to be expected of Contact. We will continue to seek new ways with which we can serve our expanding audience with high quality services through a wide variety of channels, continuing to transform the way consumers and businesses access financial services.”
Mahmoud El Said, CEO of Wasla commented, “Having personally worked with the Contact team before, I was always amazed at what they have been able to build as a leading consumer finance platform in the region. This is why we believe this deep partnership, leveraging Contact’s market position, experience, and fully digitized loan origination process, will allow us to expand our offering catering to the online shopping experience by introducing completely new ways to help consumers save money on each online purchase, pay securely, build their credit profiles, and borrow flexibly”