ExpandCart is an eCommerce platform founded in Egypt in 2013. This week we caught up with their co-founder, Amr Shawqy to learn more.
What challenge does ExpandCart solve?
It’s an eCommerce platform that enables anyone to create his successful online store in minutes and without any prior technical experience. The platform helps thousands of merchants to expand their sales online and grow their business.
What were you doing before founding the company?
I was working as a Software Development Manager, managing a large development team in 4 countries. This knowledge allowed me to build ExpandCart and also work with different teams on our feature-rich products.
How did you get ExpandCart off the ground?
We have been bootstrapping since we started, we managed to double our numbers every year. In 2019, we secured our seed funding and also joined the Betatron accelerator which helped us scale our teams and numbers even more. In September 2020 we closed our Series A round.
How much money have you raised so far?
We have raised a total of $3 million so far through our seed and Series A round.
What went into building the early stage product?
We released our first version, and put it into action, we had feedback coming from our merchants and kept changing the products and solutions based on this information. This allowed us to create a solid product that our customers rely on for their business.
We also experimented with multiple pricing models, sales, and marketing methodologies, and many other techniques to build an effective company that can be a real partner to our customers.
What’s your tech stack?
Our solutions are built on many technologies including but not limited to PHP, NodeJS, NoSQL.
Where do you currently operate?
ExpandCart has more than 20,000 merchants from over 40 countries. We mainly operate in the Middle East, and we are looking to expand to Europe.
What’s your business model?
ExpandCart is a SaaS solution. We have monthly and yearly packages, and we grow our customer base through multiple marketing channels.
What metric do you use to measure success?
We measure our success through our merchants’ success, so we mainly help them grow their sales, accelerate their growth rates, and explore cross-border trading!
What do you love most and least about running the company?
I love dealing with merchants and helping them succeed in selling online through a new channel. Of course it is challenging when we operate with thousands of merchants, but at the same time this is what drives us.
What company do you look to for inspiration and why?
I always admire Google, their direction, solutions, products, and culture.
What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt so far?
To start early and move quick!
What are your views on the African tech ecosystem?
I think the ecosystem is thriving, year after year we can see more innovative startups coming up and more accelerators, incubators, and VCs working with them on different levels.
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