Babelmdina seeks to revitalize the traditional artisanal industry through an online platform and AR and AI technologies.
Babelmdina, founded by Anass Lamouri and Imane Radid, is an online platform that offers artisans in Morocco the opportunity to showcase, promote, and sell their products digitally. With a focus on expanding beyond the local market and connecting with global customers, Babelmdina aims to revolutionize the handicrafts industry in Morocco by leveraging technology and overcoming logistical challenges.
Babelmdina – A platform for Moroccan artisans
Babelmdina, which translates to “The City Gate,” was launched in late 2022. The platform aims to provide a space for local artisans to showcase their products and reach a wider client base, both domestically and internationally. Currently, Babelmdina works with 1,200 craftsmen offering approximately 12,000 products on its platform.
Moroccan startup sector thriving amid pandemic
Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Morocco’s startup sector has seen significant growth. According to the Morocco Startup Ecosystem report, Moroccan startups raised a record-breaking USD 30 million in funding in the previous year, with e-commerce accounting for 20% of all startups in the country. In the first quarter of this year, startups in Morocco have already raised USD 9.5 million, and the sector is witnessing an increase in the number of investors, incubators, and accelerators.
Addressing challenges in the handicrafts industry
The handicrafts industry in Morocco serves as a key economic driver, contributing 7% to the national GDP and employing about 20% of the workforce, with women comprising a significant proportion. However, the industry faces challenges in reaching global markets due to logistics and shipping constraints. Babelmdina aims to overcome these challenges by leveraging technology and incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented reality (AR) technologies into its platform. [
Enhancing the online buying experience with AR
One of the challenges of running an online marketplace is helping customers visualize how items will fit into their real-life contexts. Babelmdina aims to address this challenge by incorporating AI and AR technologies into its platform to provide a personalized and immersive buying experience for customers. With a recent funding of USD 20,000 secured through participation in the local version of the Shark Tank TV show, Babelmdina plans to enhance its platform and attract more buyers.
Expanding presence in Africa and promoting handmade goods
With the fresh funding, Babelmdina has plans to incrementally expand its presence in other African countries. Lamouri believes that Africa is the land of crafts and handmade goods, and there is a need to showcase these products to wider audiences. Babelmdina aims to be at the forefront of promoting traditional crafts and handmade goods from Africa to the global market.
Muqbis, an Egyptian handicraft marketplace, recently raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding.