Egypt-based digital lending startup, Shahry has received $650,000 in pre-seed funding from the investment arm of Egbank, a leading Egyptian bank.
Shahry uses a proprietary AI-based credit scoring engine which allows users to apply for virtual credit through its mobile app which they can use to purchase different products from different online shopping platforms and store and pay for these products in monthly installments.
Speaking on investment from Egbank, Sherif said, “It is a big upside for us as we can leverage the bank’s expertise in credit risk, raising loan capital. In a market like Egypt which is generally risk-averse, a bank putting money in a startup is quite a shift in mentality in the financial sector towards fintech, technology, and risk capital.”
The lending startup will use the investment to grow its loan portfolio and also scale the business.
With Sharhry, users can apply simply while some details will be required from them on a single page. The users will then receive a confirmation about the status of their application within a day.
Shahry also enables people to browse the products and checkout on its app without having to log on to another store’s website or app.
Co-founder and CEO of Egypt’s largest shopping engine and price comparison website Yaoota, Sherif ElRakabawy said, “We deliberately chose to include the shopping within the app to provide seamless user experience as with it, you can basically get activated and order in one place.”
“The rationale here is that you need to get activated through the app first before you shop, so why not do both in one app. That being said, we’re also working in parallel with online merchants for integration as a payment method for additional reach,” he added.
Shahry charges their merchants a commission on every successful sale, meanwhile charging the users with interest in providing them the credit.
All purchases made through Shahry can be paid in monthly installments on Fawry, Aman, or Bee outlet, or using their credit card or Vodafone Cash mobile wallet. Cash can be collected from the user’s homes.
The majority of Shahry’s users now are unbanked or underbanked. Sherif sees this as a big win for his startup hence, increasing financial inclusion.
“While Shahry is for everyone, we can see Egypt’s un-and underbanked, who live outside of the formal banking system, as being our largest customer segment. Those are people who need access to finance most, and we try to help them make ends meet.”
The founder revealed that the startup is growing 100 percent month by month. It now has 15,000 users with little to no marketing since it started operations.
Sharhry was founded in 2019 by Co-founders Sherif El-Rakabawy and Mohamed Ewis.