- Egypt-based buy now pay later (BNPL) platform valU, has invested in Hoods, a live e-commerce platform.
- Hoods was founded by Mostafa Hanafi and Waleed Ghalwas in late 2020 and enables shoppers to find and compare brands through live video. This year, the startup raised $350,000 in a pre-Seed investment round.
- valU, a subsidiary of Egypt-based investment bank EFG-Hermes, recently announced its takeover of Paynas, an employee management and benefits platform. It also acquired a minority stake in Kiwe, a fintech startup targeting younger demographics.
valU, MENA’s leading Buy-Now, Pay-Later (BNPL) lifestyle-enabling fintech platform, announced today its investment in Hoods, the first and leading live entertainment commerce platform in the Middle East. valU’s investment aims to capitalise on Hoods’ unique platform to penetrate the fast-growing virtual shopping space and diversify its offering to both new and existing valU customers and merchants. The investment in Hoods comes just two months after valU announced its acquisition of Paynas, a full-fledged employee management and benefits company that provides financial services to micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), as well as valU’s recent minority stake acquisition in Kiwe, the first youth social payment app that facilitates onboarding the unbanked segment in Egypt.
Hoods’ live shopping platform offers an innovative and user-friendly shopping experience that is unique in nature and has proven to be successful in attracting a large and growing customer base. By building a digital application that has brought the vendor, content creator, and shopper, onto one platform to interact and execute retail transactions in a fun manner through a seamless experience. Hoods has changed the way consumers shop online as it allows shoppers to view the products they want in an engaging live format.
On a global scale, especially post-pandemic, virtual shopping is fast becoming a favored method amongst customers to purchase items online. Hoods leverages videos made by individuals using creative content to produce unique and entertaining product displays for customers, as opposed to conventional e-commerce. By offering consumers a platform where they can connect with influencers and brands to see their desired products come to life, Hoods has positioned itself as a unique omnichannel solution that blends real-life shopping experiences with the speed and convenience of e-commerce.
Commenting on the investment is valU’s Head of Strategy and Market Expansion, Habiba Naguib, “This investment in Hoods is a testament to valU’s focus on partnering with unconventional marketplaces, platforms, and companies that align with our vision which is centered on developing trendsetting solutions across our digital ecosystem that truly focus on creating seamless and convenient experiences that add value to the daily lives of people across the board. By tapping into this exciting space, we gain access to Hoods’ technology and community, which allows us to offer them convenient financing solutions as they shop online. Meanwhile, we are enabling valU’s expansive merchant network to be featured on Hoods’ live shopping platform, which will drive more demand and provide valU’s customers with access to a disruptive platform that will elevate their shopping experience.”
The transaction aligns with valU’s commitment to investing in companies that support its mission of elevating consumer lifestyles. The transaction will also allow valU to further deliver on its strategy of giving people and businesses access to the tools and financing they need to build better lives and better companies, fundamentally upholding a commitment to financial inclusion and creating long-term value and positive impact for the communities the company continues to serve.
Also commenting on the transaction is Hoods’ Founder, Mostafa Hanafy, “Our passion stems from our inherent drive to create valuable, life changing experiences that shape and create markets. Thus, we are very excited today to be partnering with a leading player in the fintech space like valU to elevate Hoods’ offering to consumers and to expand its client base. valU’s investment has further cemented our confidence in the attractive future that the virtual shopping space holds. By creating change in this ecosystem, we have built a new market, that has created new and exciting experiences for our clients. The investment by valU will also allow us to expedite our growth plans and achieve more impact in the market.”
Hoods’ co-founder, Waleed Ghalwash, has also praised the transaction, saying, “We have built a platform that uniquely fuses shopping and entertainment in a rich experience that offers both the convenience and the excitement of live entertainment through a robust e-commerce platform. We make sure that products are delivered to the customers’ doorstep with speed and with as little hassle as possible. This unique partnership with valU will allow us to provide a payment solution that hammers on affordability, which will further improve the shopping experiences of our consumers.”