Egypt-based virtual assistant platform Elves venture, has raised a $2 million investment from Egypt’s Sawari Ventures along with other investors from the Middle East and North Africa region (Mena) and the United States.
This round takes the total pre-Series A investment raised by the startup to $5 million. The initial round was completed back in February, after which the startup had managed to grow its user base by 500 percent over the past six months, according to a press release by Sawari.
“What initially attracted us to Elves was its unique combination of AI and human concierge capabilities, giving it superior versatility and scalability over its competitors. The onset of Covid, and the company's ability to quickly adapt to changing consumer behavior and scale to meet the surge in demand further reaffirmed our belief in the model, and led us to double down on our initial investment,” said Wael Amin, partner at Sawari Ventures.
Founded in 2017 by an Egyptian couple Karim Elsahy and Abeer Elsisi, Elves is a mobile-first, chat-based application that provides its users with a virtual assistant to perform tasks for its users for free. It uses the human in the loop (HILP) methodology to boost its machine learning capabilities and build Alexa Skills.
“We had to make some hard and fast decisions about where we would focus the business in a Covid/post-Covid world since large parts of our existing revenues were coming from flight bookings, hotel reservations, concerts, cinema tickets and those industries were basically shut down,” said Karim Elsahy, founder and CEO of Elves. “ We shifted rapidly to focus on what people would need most while they were confined to their homes... and drilled down on that. Groceries have become very big for us so we’ve automated it, signed up more than 40 grocery partners, jampacked it with exclusive deals and we’re going in a big way.”