Sylndr, an internet used-car retailer, raises $12.6M pre-seed to disrupt Egypt’s automotive market

Egypt is residence to one of Africa’s largest car fleets, with over 6 million vehicles (80% are passenger vehicles) on its roads. In response to this finding, most are used vehicles; their ratio to new autos is 3:1. However the used vehicles market isn’t solely huge in Egypt; it’s in virtually each nation with a big inhabitants globally.

Lately, there’s been rapid digitization of this market, with a number of startups upending incumbents reminiscent of classifieds and hoping to outline the brand new period of used-car-sale platforms. Some embody U.Okay.’s Cazoo, India’s Cars24 and Spinny, Brazil’s InstaCarro and Mexico’s Kavak.

Cairo-based Sylndr is a brand new participant in a market the place unorganized sellers and classifieds dominate the gross sales quantity. The automotive market, which permits clients to promote and purchase used vehicles, has raised a pre-seed spherical of $12.6 million — the most important of its type in MENA and sub-Saharan Africa, besting what Rabbit, a 20-minute convenience delivery startup, pulled in final November.

Saudi-based early-stage enterprise capital agency RAED Ventures led the spherical. VC companies Algebra Ventures, Nuwa Capital, 1984 Ventures and International Founders Capital participated, with a number of regional and world angel buyers collaborating as nicely.

New vehicles are dear; that’s one clarification for the huge demand for used autos, particularly in rising markets. In Egypt, well-liked manufacturers reminiscent of GB Auto, Mansour Automotive and Nissan are sometimes recognized to have good resale worth. However the shopping for expertise of such vehicles on classifieds might be underwhelming due to a number of points reminiscent of lack of belief and affordability.

“The primary downside that we’re attempting to repair in Egypt is a whole distrust between patrons and sellers of used vehicles within the markets,” stated co-founder and CEO Omar El Defrawy to TechCrunch in an interview. “That’s the core downside that we’re attempting to resolve. Our imaginative and prescient as an organization is that we need to rapidly turn out to be essentially the most trusted used automobile retailer in Egypt and the area.”

Widespread automobile fashions in Egypt value about $15,000 on common. For a lot of Egyptians, who earn lower than that yearly, that’s a considerable quantity to half with. And in contrast to in developed international locations the place methods are set in place to assist folks with car financing, it’s virtually non-existent in growing markets reminiscent of Egypt, the place solely about 5% of used vehicles are financed.

“So think about for those who allow financing and make the vehicles far more inexpensive to folks, that’s a core worth proposition we need to ship as nicely,” added El Defrawy, who based Sylndr with Amr Mazen in November 2021.

Sylndr is but to launch to the general public. Nevertheless, it’s tailoring its mannequin after India’s Cars24: Acquiring vehicles from people that need to promote, shopping for them up for an agreed worth, reconditioning them after which reselling them to new house owners. In response to the founders, Sylndr additionally plans on offering seven-day a refund assure, guarantee and versatile financing choices to customers.

The automobile retailer will first replace its automobile listings by launching to clients who need to promote their vehicles. Mazen stated Sylndr plans to speak in confidence to patrons in This fall this 12 months or Q1 2023.

Between these two occasions is the refurbishment of the vehicles. From our dialog, a refurbished automobile on Sylndr can be barely dearer than non-refurbished vehicles discovered on classifieds reminiscent of OLX and Contactcars. However the chief government argued that Sylndr provides “truthful and aggressive pricing,” and shoppers would nonetheless want vehicles on Sylndr based mostly on high quality and velocity of supply.

“It’s not a matter of costs being extra; it’s a matter of paying for worth. Should you’re a shopper who doesn’t have any automobile expertise, you’d need to purchase one thing that offers you true worth to the quantity you’ve put in,” El Defrawy asserted. “Prospects purchase used vehicles and attempt to do the refurbishment independently, however nobody has that form of expertise. That’s what we do, and naturally, if they’ll discover that automobile and execute this course of in 24 hours, it turns into a good a lot nicer and higher expertise.”


Picture Credit: Sylndr

The pre-revenue startup intends to earn cash from retail gross sales, public sale homes, dealerships and B2B gross sales. El Defrawy stated Sylndr may additionally look into ancillary income streams reminiscent of curiosity from financing, insurance coverage, charges from roadside help and different value-added companies. “We’re seeking to develop that as we go,” he famous.

Earlier than beginning Sylndr, El Defrawy labored as an funding banker at EFG Hermes and CFO of Elmenus, an Egyptian meals supply startup. Mazen has expertise throughout meals supply and e-commerce sectors with, Hiya Contemporary and Cazoo. They credit score their background, the make-up of their over 40 crew members and the capital intensive nature of the used automobile market as causes behind elevating this massive pre-seed spherical regardless of talks of enterprise capital cooling down amidst public sell-offs and tech firms’ devaluation.

“The secondary automobile market is very fragmented and most of the time, shoppers wouldn’t have a trusted counterpart,” stated Omar A. Almajdouie, the managing associate at RAED Ventures, in a press release.

“The market is very large, ripe for disruption, and we’re excited to be a part of Sylndr’s journey as they rework and set a wholly new normal for the used automobile market. Given the distinctive background and expertise of this crew, we imagine of their means to crack this enterprise mannequin.”

The founders stated that the funding proceeds can be put into scaling the corporate’s operational functionality, know-how infrastructure, rising stock and constructing its retail and non-retail channels to clients. In a press release, Sylndr stated it’s seeking to greater than double its crew’s dimension by the tip of the 12 months. The corporate will face competitors from the likes of Autochek, a Nigeria-based automotive platform that has lately made inroads into North Africa through an acquisition.

The final associate at Algebra Ventures, Laila Hassan, in a press release, stated, “The competence of the crew, coupled with the huge enterprise potential inside Egypt and past, forge a strong path to success. Supporting these distinctive entrepreneurs at such an early stage embodies Algebra Ventures’ ‘Founder First’ technique.”

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