The state of women in tech has improved in recent years, however, reports indicate, the number of female startups worldwide still lags that of men. The challenges that female entrepreneurs encounter are multiple — including access to funding, withstanding social expectations, acknowledging their own victories, creating an influential support network.
Still, women play an increasingly important role in the creation and implementation of innovation in technology worldwide. And female entrepreneurs from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are nowhere behind.
One such ambitious female entrepreneur is Yasmine Abdel Karim, who co-founded African on-demand logistics startup Yalla Fel Sekka (YFS) in 2020 along with Khashayar Mahdavi. The firm specialises in instant delivery and dark store management and has now closed a $7 million Series A funding round.
The round was led by DisruptAD, ADQ’s venture platform. What’s more, it is the biggest funding round raised by a logistics business headed by an Arab woman in the Middle East.
“We are now delivering over 10,000 orders per day while being gross margin positive only 18 months after launch in a vibrant but competitive market. Our gross merchandise volume is growing at a monthly rate of 20% and our customer retention is above 90%,” said Yasmine Abdel Karim, CEO and co-founder of YFS.
“We are very pleased to welcome DisruptAD alongside our original seed investors as we see tremendous growth and opportunities ahead. YFS’s accelerating growth in its fleet size, pool of drivers, micro-warehouses and dark stores is creating a powerful network effect, enabling us to dominate instant delivery in Egypt,” added Khashayar Mahdavi, co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of YFS.
Amer Al Ameri, Head of Venture Capital and Technology Investments at ADQ, added: “Supporting the YFS team and their execution capabilities represents our long-term commitment to boost impactful future-focused solutions. We are actively deploying capital into innovative businesses to sustain value creation with long-term economic benefits. By bolstering YFS’s development plans we will enable Khashayar and Yasmine to expand their leadership position in Egypt and beyond.”
YFS will deploy the proceeds of this round to expand its presence in cities across Egypt and the MENA region. Also, the company will continue building its network of hubs and optimise productivity. It will focus on strengthening its leadership in machine learning and in developing its innovative operational strategies.
Affordable instant delivery service
As per the company press release, YFS is Egypt’s only instant delivery company that provides efficient, reliable and affordable services within urban communities. YFS has revolutionised the delivery industry in Egypt only 1.5 years after its debut. It is the top instant delivery service for urban businesses in the country.
Its digital platform offers instant B2B2C delivery logistics and operations for businesses, providing a broad fleet, and dark store and micro-warehouse management. The service disrupts the regional delivery industry with its unique and scalable model that focuses on people, technology and speed. It serves several verticals such as groceries, pharmacies and e-commerce. Also, it helps SMBs grow by letting them access a booming e-commerce market with minimal investment.
Since its debut, YFS has expanded its operations in 5 cities including Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Mansoura, and Tanta.
What does YFS do?
YFS leverages its proprietary, data-driven technology to meet customers expectations of near instant deliveries. It offers reliable and affordable service with its digital platform and diverse fleet of 1,000 drivers of motorcycles and vans. As per the company, it delivers over 10,000 orders per day and manages a network of dark stores and micro-warehouses on behalf of its large and small-scale customers.
Already, YFS pioneers the instant delivery sector for groceries, food, e-commerce consolidators, retailers and pharmaceutical products in the country. It builds the critical infrastructure backbone for next-gen logistics services in the region, and seeks to develop the broadest urban distributed network of dark stores and micro-warehouses in Egypt.
To use the instant delivery service of YFS, you just have to download the app on your smartphone and choose the delivery type between instant or scheduled delivery. Now, input the pickup details with location, date and time. Also, you need to add the recipient details including phone number and delivery time. Lastly, you need to choose a payment method and get the items delivered in a convenient way.