The rapid on-demand grocery and convenience delivery craze has taken over Europe and the U.S. this past year and seems to be gradually making its way into Africa and the Middle East.
Despite a slower H1’2021 and a 10-deal drop in deals since full-year 2020, the E-commerce industry in MENA picked up by Q3 2021, raising $71M more than the total capital deployed in all of 2020.
As recorded by Magnitt’s Q3 2021 EVM E-commerce Venture Investment Report, Egypt climbed the ladder to become the most active E-commerce geography in terms of the number of deals in Q3 2021, as well as the most-funded in terms of the volume of capital deployed. This rise in E-commerce came with a complementary growth of the FinTech and Transport & Logistics sectors in Egypt, driving their 258% and 541% YoY growth by Q3 2021 respectively.
This is where the startup Rabbit enters. Rabbit is the latest of a long list of startups that investors are willing to pump money into globally, to deliver groceries and other items from neighborhood fulfillment centers to people’s homes in 20 minutes or less.
What is Rabbit?
Founded in 2021, the Cairo-based 20-minute grocery delivery startup Rabbit is a mobile app-based company that pledges to deliver groceries and more in 20 minutes using a dark store model.
The startup is currently serving four locations in central Cairo – Mohandeseen, Zamalek, Maadi, and Nasr City. It runs on tech-enabled hyper-local fulfillment centers and guarantees its customers a grocery delivery time of under 20 minutes.
In a statement, Ahmad Yousry, Rabbit’s chief executive officer (CEO), said:
Consumer expectations have evolved significantly over the past two decades. On-demand has taken over the music, media and transportation industries and we believe that on-demand retail is next.
Background of Founders
Ahmad is an alumnus of the Arab Academy and completed his Bachelor’s in Engineering with honors for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport (AAST). After that, he went to the business side and received his MBA degree in Marketing.
Yousry started his early career at the Vodafone Group in the Growth and Business Transformation Principle domain.
Then over the course of the next few years, Yousry held leadership positions at several companies across the tech and telecommunications industries including Uber and Talabat, most recently serving as the General Manager for Talabt Mart, and the General Manager for Uber Eatsin Egypt. Until 2021, when he became the co-founder and CEO of Rabbit.
Walid completed his Bachelor’s in Computer Science at the American University in Cairo. After which, he completed his post-grad at the Heriot-Watt University in Business Administration.
He started his early career as a programmer in Vodafone and after a few years, climbed up the leader and served in various leadership roles. Until 2021, he co-founded and launched the Cairo-based startup, Rabbit, alongside his colleagues.
Ismail is also an alumnus of the American University in Cairo(AUC) and completed his Bachelor’s in Business Administration with Marketing.
After that, he completed his Master’s in Business Administration at the Hult International Business School. He started his career as a Business Analyst at KPMG. From there, he served in various organizations in different senior capacities including, FORTUNE PROMOSEVEN, Mobinil, Dorra Group, and Kazyon. Then finally, in 2021, he joined Rabbit as a co-founder and COO (Chief Operating Officer).
Tarek El Geresy
Tarek is an alumnus of the Cairo University with a Bachelor’s in Commerce. He started his early career at the Egypt-based company, TNT Express. After that, he joined Vodafone and served there in different capacities.
After Vodafone, he joined Pepsico in a Senior Executive capacity, until in 2021, he finally Rabbit, as a CFO (Chief Financial Officer).
The company claims to control the end-to-end experience on its platform, via a live inventory tracking system in its warehouses to monitor what’s on the shelf and equips riders with the necessary protective gear and technology to make the deliveries.
Rabbit operates in a manner similar to other international on-demand convenience delivery startups before it. It has taken the Amazon model with large warehousing and broken it down into small pieces — micro-fulfillment centers — in four neighborhoods across Cairo: Mohandeseen, Zamalek, Maadi, and Nasr City.
Rabbit buys these five categories of items (groceries, essential fashion items, cosmetics, toys, and household items) from third-party suppliers, stores them in its warehouses, adds a markup, and sells through their app with a flat delivery fee for customers.
Pre-Seed Round: Raised $11 million
In November 2021, the startup raised $11 million in the largest-ever pre-seed round in the Middle East and Africa. The investment came from Global Founders Capital, Foundation Ventures, Raed Ventures, MSA Captial, and Goodwater Capital.
The startup plans to expand coverage areas soon, moving into several major cities by adding a new fulfillment center every other week and processing hundreds of thousands of orders per month.