Opio, Egypt’s leading DTC (Direct to Consumer) everyday women’s wear brand has raised $300,000 investment in a seed round from AUC Angels, local and regional angel investors along with follow-on funding from Flat6labs Cairo.
Launched in 2017, Opio started as a digital native vertical, capitalizing on the long-abandoned Egyptian apparel industry and the surge in online shopping demand. Opio commissions white label and toll manufacturing women’s wear apparel to different manufacturers and offers it to it’s ever growing customer base at affordable, competitive pricing through its digital platform.
“What I see in this market is a huge supply-demand imbalance.” said Shady Mokhtar the co-founder and CEO of Opio.
“Egypt has thousands of manufacturers with exceptional manufacturing capabilities yet, a total lack of modern day customers requirements, up to date fashion trends and marketing know-how, specifically in digital marketing practices.” Shady Mokhtar, CEO, Opio
Opio caters to people’s desire for simplicity. They seek to eliminate the hassle of researching brands and choosing from numerous options, to make the shopping experience more effortless. The company develops strong ties with local manufacturers, markets, and distributes their own products without using middlemen, which enables them to reduce costs, interact directly with consumers, and provide a seamless start-to-finish buyer’s experience.
“On the other hand we’ve witnessed some jaw dropping internet penetration in Egypt the past 10 years, a hyper-exposed gen Z, with very limited online offerings,” says Reem Abdellaftif, Opio’s Co-founder, Creative Director and Designer-in-Chief.
“We’ve proven that we can develop a value proposition that can easily compete with international brands, Egypt is full of design and creative talent. Backing this up by relentless focus on customer experience we are confident that we can easily add a strong mark on the local and regional online fashion market.”Reem Abdellaftif, Co-founder, Creative Director and Designer-in-Chief, Opio
Over the past couple of years, Opio’s focus was in developing strong supply chain capabilities and bring onboard a team with a diverse caliber, from digital marketing specialists, to tech experts, as well as fashion design and creative teams. The company acquired talents from reputable e-commerce companies to gain a deeper insight into scaling.
Yaser El Khereji CEO of Albasateen trading company and one of Opio’s lead investors, also expressed how much his company is impressed with Opio’s unique value proposition. He added that Albasateen is planning on providing Opio with the logistical infrastructure they need to set up a strong foothold in the GCC region. With a special attention to localizing the brand to further appeal to the target demographic.
“OPIO has been very responsive to market trends, both in terms of how it interacts with its clientele, and how it reacts to changes induced by the recent developments in the digitalization of the shopping experience. They’ve revised their business plan when they’ve needed to, and established key partnerships where it was beneficial. Shady and his team move fast, and always have news to share on what’s coming next.” Mariam Kamel, AUC Angels
Opio addresses a market opportunity that manifested itself with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the major shift by Egyptians towards online transactions, the highest of which being in fashion, as highlighted by a MasterCard survey.
Being part of their Spring 2020 cycle, Flat6Labs is a true believer of Opio’s brand and the team behind it and is a proud partner and investor. “We stand behind the team as they take the business beyond borders and scale into a regional and an international brand”, commented Marie-Therese Fam, Managing Partner of Flat6Labs Cairo.
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