I’ve waited to release the May issue until we conclude our very intense and fun team-building session in Cairo. We welcomed back on-board Mohanad Elhartany – our Senior Investment Associate, and freshly welcomed our new CFO: Adeel Shahid 😎. (Special thanks to Cairo Marriott Zamalek for hosting us at the Palace.)


We’ve done hours of internal meetings, one-on-one pitch-sessions with 15+ local startups – even managed to fit in between that some refreshing walks around Zamalek and Downtown, and we topped it all with a super pleasant evening at Crimson where we gathered 50 people from the local ecosystem: VCs, angels, founders and – of course – our founders from Lucky, Fatura, Gameball and Subsbase. Oh, here’s a little secret: we have a new addition to our local portfolio – TBA soon. We’re really excited to be investing more in Egypt and growing our Cairo team.


@Swvl team – we will catch up with you in Dubai 😉



May didn’t end for us with Cairo though. I’m in Qatar right now where I’ve just had a live session on “All about Growth & Investment” at the Digital Incubation Center. Thank you @DIC Team for having me!


Last but not least — while we were in Cairo, Middle East Startup Awards took place in Abu Dhabi — and Arzan VC was a top 3 finalist in the “VC of the Year” category… (next year we’re winning :P)



Our startups @Egypt


The latest from the lives of our Egypt-based startups and their founders. We asked each founder about what they have been up to in the last 12 months, including the most exciting moment, and what’s their goal for the rest of the year…


Yes, we’re Lucky to have you:

  • – introduced its credit pilot 8 months ago, extended credit to thousands of customers
  • – received the first fintech credit card approval in the Egyptian market in addition to the agent banking license allowing Lucky to operate its own card program in full
  • – Exciting moment: their Series A round was the largest Consumer fintech round in Egypt ever
  • – 🔜 start on-ground card distribution and extend instant consumer credit products
  • – Founders’ goal: to become Egypt’s leading digital bank in 2 years from now


A Fatura beyond FMCG:

  • – followed an aggressive merchant acquisition across Egypt and built a fully digitized embedded financing cycle
  • – Exciting moment: crossing $100M annualized GMV
  • – 🔜 fully establish multiple markets beyond FMCG (already piloting)
  • – Founders’ goal: a successful IPO


The ball keeps rolling at Gameball:

  • – achieved 3x organic growth YoY, reduced churn to 4%, improved retention and more than quadrupled their customer base (whoa!)
  • – Exciting moment: introducing a Growth team and witnessing instant growth in all metrics
  • – 🔜 optimize for enterprise and achieve 10+x growth YoY
  • – Founders’ goal: build an inspiring organization that defines benchmarks for others to follow


Subsbase is collecting long-term customers:

  • – finalized the product and kicked-off
  • – grew the team, revenue and market share while landing enterprise scale customers
  • – Exciting moment: landing their first enterprise customer with a 3-year commitment
  • – 🔜 more growth (presence, reach, team)
  • – Founders’ goal: become the main driver and catalyst behind the creation and adoption of subscription businesses in the region


Swvling on Nasdaq:

  • – the acquisition spree Swvl has been on in the last several months: Viapool (Argentina), Shotl (Spain), door2door (Germany), Volt Lines (Turkey) and Zeelo (UK)
  • 115+ cities in 18+ countries and counting
  • – Q1 results from this year show 4x growth in total ticket fares and 3.9x increase in bookings (both YoY)… What’s next, Swvl?


+ 1 new investment in Egypt: an e-commerce fulfillment and logistics startup. Keep your eyes and ears open for the announcement 👻

TL;DR (too long; didn’t read)  
A very eventful May this year for Arzan VC team – we did a team-building week in Cairo filled with fun (and serious) internal discussions, bit of sightseeing and plenty of meetings with players from the local ecosystem… I summarized for you the most exciting updates from our local startups: Lucky, Fatura, Gameball, Subsbase and Swvl.


Family Postcard


Founder of the year

Klaim’s co-founder Karim Dakki was awarded Founder of the Year by Middle East Startup Awards 2021. Also, Klaim will be attending the 9th Annual MENA Health Insurance Congress on 12-13 May 2022 (Dubai).


Top CRM companies

Repzo was listed as one of the top Arab World-based CRM companies by BestStartup.Asia.


Swvl on a spree🛍️

Swvl acquired Zeelo, a UK-based B2B smart buses operator, in a deal valued at $100M.



Fresh from the press

New issue of Qoyod’s magazine is out!


Latest Jobs @ ArzanVC Family


  • Country Manager – Germany at Mejuri (remote)
  • Business Development Manager – KSA at Cartlow (KSA)
  • SaaS Sales Executive at Repzo (Amman)
  • Senior Accountant at Armada Delivery
  • HR Specialist at Qoyod (Riyadh)
  • Creative & Fashion Specialist at The Luxury Closet (Dubai)


Laith & I are off to Dubai (June 5 & 6) and then Abu Dhabi (June 7). Let’s grab a quick coffee?


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