Calls to boycott Israeli products and services following recent events taking place in occupied Palestine have led to a boom in alternative companies. One MENA startup that has profited from this boycott movement is Wuilt, an Egyptian website development company.
Amid calls to boycott one of the biggest software companies in the world, Tel-Aviv-based Wix, which has over 200 million users, one Egyptian startup is growing. Some of Wix’s clients have closed their Wix accounts and opened new ones at Wuilt. Since the call to boycott the Israeli software giant, Wuilt’s paying clients have tripled. Other global competitors are WordPress and Squarespace.
Wuilt: The Arab Alternative to Wix
WAYA spoke with Ahmed Rostom, Wuilt’s CEO, about the impact of Wix’s boycott on the company’s affairs. He says: “Our involvement was unintentional, it was not our plan to create any kind of propaganda because it isn’t morally correct for us to benefit from the events in Palestine. We were surprised when people started a boycott campaign and people started mentioning Wix… Wuilt was mentioned as an alternative. We were the only platform from the Arab region that was mentioned.”
With that momentum, the company started to brand itself as the Arab alternative to Wix. It launched a campaign comparing itself to the Israeli web developer without mentioning that it was Israeli. This helped the Egyptian startup get regional and exposure.
Wuilt was founded in 2019 with the aim to create an Arab platform that can compete with global platforms such as Wix and Shopify, to make it easier for people to create a website without clients resorting to a costly website design company. In addition to saving time, the user can create a website In minutes and then modify it, without previous programming or design experience.
Wuilt raised $535,000 in Seed funding in November 2020.
The startup is sympathetic to the Palestinian cause and plans to take steps to help it through Egypt’s national Palestinian Reconstruction campaign. “We are planning to be part of the Palestinian reconstruction campaign, launched by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. We will soon announce the construction of 500 to 1000 free websites for the people of Palestine, whether e-commerce platforms or service websites to help Palestinians return to their work,” Rostom says.
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