How many times have you gone shopping and the cashier handed out a wordy brochure and suggested you filled it in to collect points for the next time you shopped at that store? Okay, how many times have you politely said “thank you, but I’m in a rush”? With retailers and credit card companies offering all types of purchase reward systems, many of them come with countless pain points – from taking too long to be rewarded, to adding unnecessary complexity.
Mai and Ahmed El Naggar were chilling together on their living room couch one day in Dubai, brainstorming new ways to expand their family’s business. In the beginning, the siblings were looking to sell a disruptive cleaning device on online marketplaces. But the big question was: why would someone go on a certain website to buy a cleaning device in specific? Mai and Ahmed got so deep into the brainstorming session that they strayed off their initial product and started thinking of ways to make people loyal to a (hypothetical) marketplace.
“People are not very loyal to marketplaces, so creating a solid loyalty program that rewards every dollar/dirham spent is what would make a marketplace stand out.The simple answer was to create a cashback system to reward customers and make them loyal to the website and marketplace,” Mai says, remembering the first moments the idea of Rebatus came about.
Rebatus (literally: rebate us) is an online marketplace of diverse categories such as electronics, household goods, fashion, watches, perfumes, toys, and baby products. On the other end of the platform, Rebatus helps users not only save, but earn money, on every transaction made through the site.
It’s simple. You can log in either using an e-mail address or your Facebook account, surf the categories or scan for the item you’d like to order, and you’ll find a mark that indicates your points. The sibling founders did their algorithm-mathematics, and they made sure that everyone gets their cash back eventually. The more people purchase on Rebatus, the more everyone gets rewarded.
“Imagine how many transactions happen on an e-commerce platform every minute of every day? You’re getting a percentage of it straight to your wallet. There are no strings attached and you don’t have to refer your friends – although you’ll get some points as a gift from us if you do. So eventually as more and more people shop on Rebatus, everyone will eventually get 100% cash back – as a minimum.”Ahmed El-Naggar, Co-founder, Rebatus
Although the sibling founders are Egyptians, they decided to launch Rebatus in the “lucrative” market that the UAE is. Mai and Ahmed are particularly optimistic about working in the Emirati demographic due to the cash flow positivity, all the while Saudi Arabia and Egypt are on their radar for opportunities.
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