Sawari Ventures and Union Capital have announced $1.2 million in investment in Financial Services Company (FSC), an Egyptian company that provides retail services and loyalty programs for retailers and financial institutions.
FSC, which works with the National Bank of Egypt and Visa, offers a website, HERMES, that will track point of sale activity and help retailers or banks manage their call centers and technical managers while also tracking customer relationships through a CRM system.
FSC also offers what it claims is Egypt's first nationwide loyalty program, EZi, which allows clients to earn points at restaurants, cafes, fashion retail outlets, and travel outlets throughout the country. It also offers electronic gift cards.
These loyalty card and prepaid card services are "badly needed by a large portion of the Egyptian population," says Minoush Meguid, Union Capital Chief Investment Officer and Co-Founder. "These services will undoubtedly revive the consumer market which is waiting to be unleashed following in the footsteps of other emerging markets," she said in a statement. Union Capital typically invests in Cairo-based SMEs, with a $30m fund sourced from a mix of public and private Egyptian banks.
"FSC has a very experienced management team, and I think there are many addition business lines that the company can enter once it further builds its platform," says Ahmad Alfi, founder and chairman of Cairo-based VC Sawari Ventures.
It's a great time for Sawari to invest, as it continues to fundraise, he says. "If Egypt can get through the next few months, we'll be poised for a big recovery and FSC will be able to capitalize on the that. There always been a shortage of financial companies in Egypt as opposed to the rest of the developed world."
The investment will be used to first focus on expanding the loyalty network in Egypt, building a network where e-currency can be exchanged via a points system over the next 12 months, he says.