Cairo-born PropTech startup, Nawy, has raised a seven-figure Seed investment from the Sawiris family, the company announced in a statement to WAYA. The investment also saw the participation of eminent angels, such as Hatem Dowidar, seasoned investor and CEO of Etisalat Group.
The Egyptian startup is looking to utilize this investment to enhance their tech to become a homebuyer’s one-stop-shop, push the bounds of their current model to include more services, and expand their team to cover more areas across Egypt.
Initially launched as ‘Cooing’ in 2016, the company has since upped the ante on digitizing real estate in Egypt. Boasting a formidable track record by serving over 30,000 users and selling billions of pounds in GMV. While a variety of industries were caught in the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic during 2020, real estate accounted for the highest amount of funding in the MENA region during H1 2020 alone, with a total of 25%.
Nawy was able to not only capitalize on a booming industry’s appetite for digitization but have also sustained a streak that would catapult them to 300% growth in 2021. The platform’s ethos has attracted the attention of homebuyers and investors alike. The simplicity of having a cohesive real estate search engine for users to browse properties in some of Cairo’s hottest developments, and close on a house seamlessly is a feature that remains a niche in Egypt.
“There’s a considerable chunk of time lost from a homebuyer’s end due to the lack of information and transparency, which breeds anxiety within customers,” Mostafa El Beltagy, CEO of Nawy says in a statement. “Even more traditional methods, such as push sales from cold calling, are leaving customers more skeptical than ever. Nawy is vying to become the leading real estate search engine and platform equipping customers with all the information and insight they need to select a home in Egypt’s top gated communities.”
If it is not users seeking out their future abode, then they are seeking assets. Real estate in Egypt has long presided as the preferred investment asset such is the cultural preference. Aside from real estate and Egyptians being a longstanding love story, economically it is also a gold mine. After the Egyptian Pound’s devaluation in 2016, investments in real estate became the holy grail of safe hedges against inflation. According to a report by real estate service provider Savills Egypt in 2021, despite financial stability and several economic feats by the government’s reforms, real estate continues to reign as the preferred investment option.
Nawy’s seamlessly integrated model reinstates a level of transparency that has been lacking in Egypt’s real estate landscape. Blending the ability for homebuyers to alter any criteria, such as unit space, price, location and much more in their online search, and Nawy mobilizing its own brokerage arm to provide a trusted transaction process. This process involves Nawy deploying veteran agents and consultants, at no additional cost to the user.
“Our vision is enabled by our fully integrated model which includes the strongest client service/sales team aiming to serve the customer’s needs, our in-house technology, and seasoned experts and consultants in the real estate domain,” El Beltagy adds.
When looking for set-in-stone proof for other instances of investors believing in the promise of PropTech in Egypt, one doesn’t have to look far. In December 2020, Coldwell Banker-Egypt, the real estate investment and marketing giant, partnered with PropTech startup, Sakneen. The collaboration is aimed to help further Sakneen’s efforts to digitize the home buying experience. A few months later, in February 2021, Sakneen also raised $1.1 million in a seed round.
Onsi Sawiris, added “Within the realms of PropTech, there’s a breakneck speed of evolution in service offerings, and how to better offer a fully-integrated model that can be executed in Egypt. Nawy has paved the way for it to be manifested and realized, and I am in full belief of their vision’s viability. Nawy has checked all the quintessential boxes from acquiring the right team and talent to ensuring their backend is a truly inventive one that is able to deliver a seamless and transparent homebuyer’s journey.”
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