Nawy, a Cairo-based property-technology start-up, has secured a new USD 5 million investment in a seed round led by the Sawiris Family Office.
Founded in 2016 under the brand name ‘Cooing’ by Mohamed Abou Ghanima, Abdel-Azim Osman, Ahmed Rafea, Aly Rafea and Mostafa El Beltagy, Nawy provides an end-to-end platform for users to purchase and sell real estate properties located across Egypt.
Currently employing more than 200 individual, Nawy hopes to use the latest investment to grow its offerings.
“I am very happy with the latest round,” said CEO Mostafa El Beltagy to Egyptian Streets. “The money has given us freedom to invest for the future and to grow and scale the team. Having more resources will enable us to build our technology which is critical for a business in our stage of maturity. Furthermore our investors are very strategic and bring a lot more value way beyond the impact of the money.”
Nawy’s platform contains a massive database of properties, where users can search and filter their options using various criteria, such as unit space, price and location. Once a user has found a property they are interested in, Nawy’s brokerage arm steps in to provide a seamless transaction process at no additional cost to the user. According to Nawy, this feature provides users with full autonomy over their real estate decisions, as opposed to more traditional methods that involve multiple parties and less-informed decisions.
Additionally, among the technology tools which Nawy hopes to boost using the latest investment is machine learning and artificial intelligence, which Nawy uses to develop personalized recommendations for users, in addition to offering homes that are suitable for their specific requirements and preferences.
“This investment will allow us to build a better platform for users which will improve their search experience for a new home. Moreover it will help us grow the best team of property consultants so after the user has finished their online journey, they will be met with an equally strong offline experience to help assist them all the way through to sale,” explained El Beltagy to Egyptian Streets when asked about how the investment will be used.
“Furthermore it will also allow us to build up new services which we believe will be truly differentiated and will ease both the selling and buying experience specifically for secondary homeowners and buyers looking for properties that are ready to move.”
For Onsi Naguib Sawiris, who leads the Sawiris Family Office, Nawy’s future is bright.
“We were one of the initial investors in Nawy because we saw the company’s potential and shared its ambition. We immediately increased our investment when we realised how quickly they were expanding and saw the company’s trajectory coming to life,” said Sawiris.
“We are very excited about what the future holds especially as Nawy expands its services and furthers its momentum in the real estate market.”
To date, Nawy has connected 60,000 people to their properties in Egypt, facilitating the sale of more than USD 200 million in properties.
“The timing was right for us [to seek funding] because we had a proven business model and solid economics, but as a business we needed more ‘fuel’ to scale and that’s what the investment round has provided,” added El Beltagy.
Nawy isn’t the first ‘property technology’ start-up in the region. Competitors include Aqarmap, which was first founded in 2011 in Yemen and has offices in Egypt, and Bayut, which claims to be the UAE’s largest real estate portal.