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Egyptian startup La Reina raises $1m from Algebra Ventures, 500 Startups

Startup Scene

Egyptian startup La Reina — an online platform for rental couture — has closed a $1-million deal in a Series A funding round led by Egypt’s largest venture capital (VC) fund, Algebra Ventures, with participation from the global VC fund 500 Startups.

The announcement was made in a press release today.

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Founded in 2016 by Ghada El-Tanawy and Amr Diab, La Reina claims to be Egypt’s largest couture closet, allowing women to rent their evening and bridal gowns to each other.

The startup has hundreds of new evening dresses and bridal gowns. To date, the platform has garnered more than 3.5-million ($200 000) Egyptian Pounds for dress owners.

La Reina, founded in 2016 by Ghada El-Tanawy and Amr Diab, has garnered more than $200 000 for dress owners

El-Tanawy said the startup aims to grow its current closet in order to reach 5000 items by January next year. “This would not only mean a revenue worth of 8 million Egyptian Pounds for the dress owners, but also a humble boost for the local economy and a starting point for a transformative business model,” she said.

The company also plans to use the acquired investment to expand its team, with Diab pointing out that the team has tripled in the past two months.

Algebra Ventures’ managing partner Ziad Mokhtar said La Reina is taking the “first big step” in transforming the way Egyptians consume fashion. “La Reina is leveraging shifts in consumer behaviour driven by technology, and that excites us,” he commented.

In addition, 500 Startups’ Partner Sharif El-Badawi said the organisation has been watching La Reina since the beginning and were impressed with their innovative approach to solving a huge regional pain point.

“Not only have we seen similar ideas succeed in the US where the pain point is arguably lower than a place like Egypt — where every week seems to have a formal event with strong social pressures requiring women to dress-to- impress — we were delighted to see how La Reina adapted their strategy and business model around the local nuances and needs on both sides of the marketplace.” said El-Badawi .

Featured image: La Reina founders Amr Diab and Ghada El-Tanawy. Image via Startup Scene.

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