BY TOM JACKSON
Egyptian startup Appetito, a grocery and household products delivery service, hopes to expand across Africa after securing a seed funding round.
Founded in March 2020 by Shehab Mokhtar, Appetito is a grocery delivery platform that sources products from manufacturers, stores them in its warehouses, and ships them to customers via mini fulfillment centres. Customers can order from its website, mobile app or social media accounts.
“We started with next day and pre-scheduled deliveries. Lately we launched our same day delivery – under 60 minutes – in selected areas,” Mokhtar told Disrupt Africa.
Appetito began life selling white label products only, but later began onboarding products from well-known consumer brands. It is addressing a retail market in Egypt that is worth US$50 billion, and solving a challenge within it.
“The main gap we are addressing for our customers is getting their household products in a convenient and affordable way with a great customer experience. Most of the supermarkets who do home delivery do not focus on customer experience and they fail to deliver in a timely manner,” said Mokhtar.
“Our proposition is that we buy products from manufacturers to ensure getting best prices, and operate through dark stores to decrease the cost and be closer to our customers.”
The startup is working to change customer habits when it comes to shopping, a challenge that means engaging with the market but also one that has been made slightly easier by the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
“We’re educating the market that customers can buy their products online cheaper, and have it delivered in a very convenient way,” said Mokhtar.
“COVID-19 has played an important role in increasing this trend due to safety concerns.
Appetito raised a pre-seed round of US$100,000 shortly after it launched, and recently secured US$450,000 in seed investment from a group of prominent investors. Mokhtar hopes to scale the startup quickly.
“We operate in three main cities in Egypt – Cairo, Giza, and Alexandria. Our expansion plan is to include more cities in Egypt, then other markets in Africa,” he said.