Cairo Sitters has announced an investment from Egyptian angel fund Kamelizer at the Berlin Tech Open Air Conference today.
CEO Hossam Taher did not disclose the size of the investment but said Kamelizer CEO Hanan Abdel Meguid would be joining the company build a digital platform.
Taher said they initially met at Wamda’s Cairo Mix n’ Mentor in March this year.
The startup, which launched in 2013, will also be changing its name to Orcas as it moves, from an offline Cairo-based tutoring and child care agency, to a regional online marketplace for the same purpose. The name is a nod to the strong familial ties of the ocean mammal (also known as a killer whale).
The marketplace will act as an intermediary, matching parents with carers, who will be ranked on a points system based on components like experience.
“Users who are parents and students can search and find their own matches, schedule the sessions and pre-job-interviews (aka home interviews), pay online or schedule a cash collection through the application and manage the sessions and monitor progress,” Taher said.
It will manage scheduling, payments and also carer training, as providing employment opportunities to young people is a company goal.
“It is very important to us to create part time jobs for students and recent graduates in order to enable them to be independent,” he said. “Our babysitters and tutors are still rigorously selected and highly trained... we believe that if we equip the team with thinking-know-how, internet-search skills, decision making skills and broad guidelines of education, child care and pedagogy then we are able to provide the best quality possible.”
Although they are the big fish in Egypt, once out of the country they’ll be going up against services such as Help4u.today in Dubai, and Little Ones and Blast Inc in Lebanon, as well as traditional agencies.
Cairo Sitters is one of eight startups that have travelled to Berlin to participate in the three-day Tech Open Air technology festival with Egypt’s Rise Up entrepreneurship networking platform. The organisation said in a statement that each had been selected based on financial stability, legal status, the startup’s use of technology to develop its product/business.
The other startups are food discovery site Elmenus, integrated media production company Giraffics Studio, online concierge service Elves, squash performance tracking app SquashApp, online obituaries site El Wafeyat, fashion site Fustany.com, and travel discovery app Travel Bucket.