Cairo-based digital lending startup Shahry has raised $650,000 in pre-seed funding from the investment arm of Egbank. Powered by an exclusive artificial intelligence (AI)-based credit scoring engine, enables users to apply for virtual credit through its mobile app that they can then use in purchasing from different online shopping platforms and stores, which for now includes Souq, and pay for these products in monthly installments. The application requests some details from the users on a single page and users receive confirmation about the status of their application within a day.
The buy now pay later startups normally work with ecommerce platforms to offer their service as a payment option to their customers during the checkout but Shahry has taken a different direction by enabling people to browse the products and checkout on its app without having to log on to store’s website or app. Even for returns, the users get in touch with Shahry and they help them submit the request to the store.
The users who make purchases through Shahry can pay their monthly installments on Fawry, Aman, or Bee outlet, or using their credit card or Vodafone Cash (mobile wallet). The startup also offers cash collection at homes.
In a statement Sherif ElRakabawy, CEO of Shahry said that their demand has been exploding, growing at 100 percent month-over-month since the soft launch in July 2019, “While Shahry is for everyone, we can see Egypt’s 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.”
Egbank has been active in the Egyptian startup ecosystem for over two years but that has been mostly through its accelerator program that it runs in partnership with Cairo Angels for early-stage startups in the country.
Mohamed Moheyeldin, the CEO of Egyptian Gulf Holding for Financial Investments said, “We see great potential in Shahry and the area of financial non-banking services in Egypt, and are looking into investment opportunities that offer innovative solutions for lending. In alignment with this belief, we strive to complement the vision and destination of Egbank, aiming to center the youth at the heart of its organization and support young entrepreneurs and innovation.”