Muqbis, an Egyptian handcraft marketplace, has announced that it has raised an undisclosed amount in a pre-seed funding round by Nama Ventures.
Muqbis: A passion for handcrafts
Muqbis was launched in 2021 by Iman El Wasifi, Mohamed Nasser and Kareem Hussein. The co-founders all have a strong background in technology and business growth. All three held positions at Egypt Yellow Pages and have worked across a range of tech and startup companies across Egypt and the Middle East. Muqbis came about due to their passion for handicrafts, and their skillsets have positioned them to launch the company as a fully-fledged marketplace tailored to serve the industry.
Muqbis, according to the company, will benefit from a strong understanding of the handcraft industry, including its nature and the unique challenges it faces. The company will support growth among handcraft makers, encourage sales conversions and support the industry through technological innovations while sustaining its cultural elements.
The Egyptian handcraft market
According to Muqbis, the handcrafts market in Egypt is valued at only 22 billion Egyptian pounds (891,185,240 USD). Muqbis aims to be an umbrella marketplace for handcraft producers, notably women in the Egyptian and MEA market, and to support them with the creation of a fair environment where they can sell their products, and educate themselves about ecommerce to increase their exposure to a local and international market.
Iman El Wasifi, the CEO of Muqbis said, “We are super excited to be one of Nama’s Portfolio companies in our first round. Nama is an extraordinary VC that showed a strong belief in what we do and aim to deliver, even before we signed the final agreement for the investment, they bridged all possible ways to support our business growth through recommendations and business matchmaking. We believe the next phase for Muqbis will be a game changer. Through the past few months we showed a remarkable market footprint in our MVP phase, but it’s time for a greater impact that is specially tailored for the industry as we believe in Talented Hands and shall avail all the possible ways to deliver their uniqueness to customers’ doorstep in a world class experience.”
“The Etsy of MENA”
“We’ve always wanted to make a bet on ‘the Etsy of Mena’ for a while now, the opportunities are massive and our region enjoys a great deal of artists and talented craftsmen that need the right medium to monetize their craft. Yet we were always challenged in finding the right complementary team to go after the opportunity,” said Mohammed Alzubi, founder and managing partner of Nama Ventures. “Well the wait is over, Iman, Mohamed and Karim are the definition of a complementary team with the right role clarity to tackle this exciting challenge. We are simply honored and privileged that the super talented Muqbis team has chosen Nama Ventures as their funding partner, and we look forward to return the favor in providing the value add that we promised with our investment.”
Modus and USAID recently launched a venture builder to support Egyptian women and underserved populations in the country.