#Africa Egypt’s elmenus closes $1.5m funding round from Algebra Ventures


Egyptian food discovery platform elmenus has closed a US$1.5 million Series A funding round from Algebra Ventures, which it will use to build new features.

The Cairo-based elmenus has already seen its mobile app installed on one out of every six iPhones in the Egyptian capital, and has more than one million monthly users. The funding will be used to build new features to help users order their food online more easily.

Prior to the investment Algebra Ventures, which is Egypt’s largest venture capital firm and also recently invested in online grocery delivery startup GoodsMart, eelmenus had raised only US$60,000 in outside funding. The startup was launched with a US$3,000 investment by founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Amr Allam, who was frustrated that it had become impossible to keep up with Cairo’s blossoming restaurant scene.

“We’ve seen an explosion of new restaurants in Cairo over the past few years, from high-end fine dining to joints offering modern twists on traditional Egyptian dishes,” he said. “This created a novel problem for diners: decisions. How do you discover the hottest new restaurants? What do they actually offer? And what do people really think of them? That’s the problem that elmenus set out to solve: how to help people make the best dining decision each and every time.”

elmenus’ goal is to deliver comprehensive information on all restaurants in Egypt, real user-generated photos, and recommendations, all to help people make the best dining decisions.

“This wealth of content makes us the leading destination for online food decisions in Egypt,” said Allam.  

“I started elmenus to solve a very personal problem. Dining in Egypt had become a research operation, as information about restaurants was scattered around the internet, if it existed at all.  And certainly none of it had the authentic feedback of real people who love food. And till today, despite many big players in the food tech space globally, no one has fully tackled the decisions problem.”

Ziad Mokhtar, managing partner at Algebra Ventures, will be joining elmenus’ board of directors.

“We believe elmenus have a unique and compelling solution to a big problem and we are very excited to partner with them in the coming phase of the company’s growth,” he said.  “

“Considering that prior to our investment, elmenus had seen only $60,000 in funds invested, the traction they’ve achieved — in terms of users, revenues, content — is impressive.  With this investment, elmenus is well-poised to grab a substantial stake in the digital food space which is dominated globally by the likes of Just Eat, Zomato, and Delivery Hero.”

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