EGYPT – Opio, an Egypt-based women’s fashionwear brand, has raised US$300,000 in a seed round from AUC Angels, local and regional angel investors along with follow-on funding from Flat6labs Cairo.
Launched in 2017, Opio is a direct-to-consumer e-commerce platform and commissions white label and toll manufacturing women’s wear apparel to different manufacturers.
“What I see in this market is a huge supply-demand imbalance,” said Shady Mokhtar the co-founder and CEO of Opio, said.
“Egypt has thousands of manufacturers with exceptional manufacturing capabilities yet, a total lack of modern-day customers requirements, up to date fashion trends and marketing know-how, specifically in digital marketing practices. On the other hand, we’ve witnessed some jaw dropping internet penetration in Egypt the past 10 years, a hyper exposed gen Z, with very limited online offerings.”
Opio seeks to eliminate the hassle of researching brands and choosing from numerous options, to make the shopping experience more effortless. The company develops strong ties with local manufacturers, markets, and distributes its own products without using middlemen, thus interacting directly with consumers and reducing costs.
“We’ve proven that we can develop a value proposition that can easily compete with international brands, Egypt is full of design and creative talent. Backing this up by relentless focus on customer experience we are confident that we can easily add a strong mark on the local and regional online fashion market,” said Reem Abdellaftif Opio’s co-founder, creative director and designer-in-chief.
Opio addresses a market opportunity that manifested itself with the outbreak of COVID-19 and the major shift by Egyptians towards online transactions, the highest of which being in fashion, as highlighted by a MasterCard survey.
“We were impressed with Opio’s unique value proposition. We are planning on providing Opio with the logistical infrastructure they need to set up a strong foothold in the GCC region. With a special attention to localising the brand to further appeal to the target demographic,” Yaser El Khereji CEO of Albasateen trading company and one of Opio’s lead investors, said.
The company is hoping to benefit from the rise in online shopping in the country following the pandemic.
“OPIO has been very responsive to market trends, both in terms of how it interacts with its clientele, and how it reacts to changes induced by the recent developments in the digitalisation of the shopping experience,” Mariam Kamel from AUC Angels said.
“They’ve revised their business plan when they’ve needed to and established key partnerships where it was beneficial. Shady and his team move fast, and always have news to share on what’s coming next.”
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