The e-commerce industry in Egypt is set for a massive shakeup courtesy of Kenzz, a new platform that aims to bring online shopping to the masses. And with its founders having just secured an impressive $3.5 million in funding, residents across the country can expect to see the service taking shape over the coming months.

According to e-commerce experts, online shopping in Egypt is currently focused around three major cities: Cairo, Alexandria, and Giza. But for those outside these metropolitan areas, access to comparative goods and services is limited and unreliable at best. Currently, research suggests that around 40% of Egyptians regularly shop online — but the team behind Kenzz believes that they can raise this figure by improving access to e-commerce nationwide.

At the moment, Egyptian ecommerce follows one of two models: shopping via large platforms such as Amazon Egypt and Jumia, which only deliver to the major cities, or person-to-person/B2B2C transactions arranged via social media platforms such as Noon. But, the founders of Kenzz believe, these models both fail to tap into the potential of a truly nationwide ecommerce service.

“We’re going after a completely different segment that Amazon and the big platforms are not looking at as they are centralized in big cities and towards the people who are comfortable buying online,” founder Ahmed Atef told TechCrunch in October 2022. “What we’re doing is bringing that experience much closer to the masses and building a reliable, trustworthy e-commerce platform that caters specifically for the mass market, solving for the barriers to buying, whether it’s trust, affordability and relevance, while capitalizing on social engagement and social interaction aspects of e-commerce.”

Taking the best bits from both models — and adding in some unique features, such as discounts to those teaming up with family and friends to buy in bulk — Stef and his coworkers hope to transform the Egyptian ecommerce landscape, growing the sector more than ever before. And now, they are even closer to their goals. Recently, the team secured $3.5 million in seed funding from a number of backers, headed up by U.S. investment firm Outliers Venture Capital. And if the platform’s successful soft launch is anything to go by, Kenzz is a name that we’ll be hearing a lot more of in the years to come.