Egyptian real estate technology startup Nawy has secured a seven-figure seed funding, led by the Sawiris family office. With the participation of angel investors, including Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Etisalat Group.
Founded in 2016 by entrepreneurs Mohammed Abu Ghanima, Abdul Azim Othman, Ahmed Rafea, Ali Rafea, and Mostafa El-Beltagy, Nawy provides a real estate platform that allows users to browse thousands of properties and buy homes in closed residential communities.
This investment – whose value the company has not announced – is the first from outside investors, while the founders have pumped about $200,000 into the company over the past five years, according to co-founder Abdul-Azim Othman to Forbes Middle East.
Cooperation with the family office of the richest Egyptian family
While Nawy plans to use the new investment to enhance its technology, diversify its services, and expand its workforce across Egypt, it is also seeking to benefit from the joint collaboration with the Sawiris family.
Co-founder Abdulaziz Othman told Forbes Middle East: Of course we work closely with the family office to explore collaborations between Nawy and Ora Real Estate Development (affiliated with Naguib Sawiris). He continued: We plan to build a closer relationship and partnership, and we will achieve this through more cooperation, but it will not be in an “exclusive” form.
The Sawiris family is the richest family in Egypt, where Nassef Sawiris tops the Forbes ranking of Arab billionaires with a fortune of 9.1 billion dollars, while his brother Naguib has a fortune estimated at 3.1 billion dollars. Family members invest in many sectors, including construction, financial services, sports, and others.
The new investment comes at a time when Naguib Sawiris is focusing on the real estate sector through his company, Ora Real Estate Development, which designs and develops luxury properties in countries including Egypt, Cyprus, Pakistan, and London.
According to Onsi Naguib Sawiris, who leads the Sawiris family office, the field of real estate management technology PropTech is witnessing a rapid evolution of service offerings and how to provide integrated business models that can be implemented in Egypt.
Currently operating from two offices in New Cairo and 6th of October City, Nawy has seen a 30% year-over-year growth since its inception, and the total value of sales through the platform has reached $150 million, according to co-founder Abdulaziz Othman for Forbes Middle East.
The company explained in a statement that it has helped more than 30,000 people buy the right property over the past five years, and the emerging platform aims to achieve 300% growth in 2021 despite what it described as a “turbulent year in the real estate market.”
Regarding the company’s vision and purpose, Mostafa El-Beltagy, CEO of Nawy explained: There is a lot of time wasted when buying a home due to the lack of information and transparency, which creates anxiety among customers. He continued: Even traditional methods, such as increasing sales by phone calls, are making customers more skeptical than ever.
There is intense competition between the platforms that allow the ability to search for real estate, including Aqarmap, Propertyfinder, Bayut, among many others.
Real estate technology start-ups are also raising significant investments in the Middle East and North Africa, where Saudi Gatherin, a platform for one-to-one vacation home rentals in the Kingdom, secured $6 million in financing last month, and Morocco’s Mubawab Group raised $10 million. In March, Egyptian Sakenin secured $1.1 million and RentUp secured less than $1 million in funding.
The UAE’s XPLOR and Stake also raised $3 million and $4 million respectively, while Dubai-based online mortgage platform Huspy secured initial funding, which it did not disclose.