When merchants start their ecommerce business, they can easily manage end-to-end operations from the early stages. But as they begin to grow, managing their own operations, from warehousing and logistics to delivery and collection of cash, can become difficult. This can prevent them from scaling effectively despite a constant influx of demand.
Now it is necessary to unload some of this workload. This is where ecommerce fulfillment services come in handy.
Today, Flextock, one such company providing this service to businesses and consumers in Egypt, announces that it is part of the Y Combinator Winter 2021 bundle.. Founded by Mohamed Mossaad and Enas Siam in September 2020, the Egyptian company launched stealthily in January.
According to COO Siam, the founders noticed that as e-commerce activity in the Middle East and North Africa accelerated due to the pandemic, merchants were left overwhelmed by the volume of orders they have received.
“We saw this as an opportunity to create a technology platform to be able to help anyone who wants to develop their own brand or independent store,” she told TechCrunch.. “We wanted them to focus on their products and marketing while leaving the supply chain and logistics to us, which we do through our proprietary end-to-end software.. “
Mossaad, the CEO of the company, describes Flextock as a provider of technology solutions. When merchants sign up for the platform, they send their products to one of the company’s distribution centers.. Flextock takes the entire catalog and marks the products for tracking purposes. Then the integration is made between Flextock and any online store they use, be it Shopify, WooCommerce, Wix and Odoo, among others.
As commands are made, Flextock packages and ships products from the distribution center to customers. Flextock does not own any delivery vehicles, so to achieve this the company is partnering with existing logistics companies in Egypt.. This model helped the startup create a market for different last mile delivery companies around the country..
There’s also a dashboard for these merchants to track every order, get more visibility into their shipping process, and see how well their products are selling..
Flextock earns money per order. This means that the merchants on the platform pay a fixed fee that changes compared to the volume of products moved.
Mossaad says since the company’s beta launched in January with more than 20 companies, it has grown 50% week after week. in 28 cities across the country.
According to the CEO, Flextock is the leading end-to-end fulfillment service in Egypt. And in a market that will likely see more competition in the next couple of years, Mossaad believes Flextock has the opportunity to become the market leader.
Behind this logic, there is only the six-month-old start-up is supported by Y Combinator and also raised $ 850,000, which is only the first part of its multi-million dollar pre-seed cycle which To close at some point this year.
“We were able to very quickly gain acceptance from YC given the size of the opportunity we are focusing on. We believe that trade is expected change in the Middle East and Africa, and Flextock will be at the forefront of propelling this next generation of commerce, ”he said.
The founders combine a wealth of corporate experience with a solid track record of scaling tech startups in the MENA region..
Siam started his career managing sourcing operations at Nestlé in the Middle East and North Africa. Later, she became the Managing Director of Careem Bus, a transit service and subsidiary of Uber, where she helped create the product from scratch and took it to 150,000 monthly trips in a year..
Mossaad, on the other hand, worked on many turnarounds in different African countries during his stay at Bain & Company. He joined the Egyptian online food delivery platform, Elmenus, as Chief Strategy Officer. He helped boost the company’s revenue five-fold in less than a year and was instrumental in its $ 8 million Series B..
CEO said Flextock is targeting other markets in Africa and the Middle East – More precisely Saudi Arabia – and the plan is to provide its services to over a million businesses in these regions over the next decade.
“Our mission is to enable over a million merchants in Africa and the Middle East to sell online without having to manage their own operations.. We are well positioned to do so, and With a bit of luck, we will be able to achieve this in record time. “