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Egyptian Startup Tink Launches MENA’s First Ride-Sharing Chatbot

The news comes a huge leap forward for the startup, which began life in 2019 as a simple Facebook group.

Egyptian ride-sharing startup, Tink, has announced the launch of its Facebook-based chatbot - the first of its kind in the MENA region. The chatbot comes as a necessary evolution of Tink, which has built something of a community through a Facebook group that was created in June 2019 and that now boasts almost 8,000 members - or Tinkers.

Tink was conceived as a way to connect people travelling mostly between Cairo and the North Coast, while removing the hassle and anxiety that comes with the age-old practice of posting ‘DO I KNOW ANYONE GOING TO SAHEL THIS WEEKEND??’ on Facebook. Since the initial group, the startup has also established groups specifically for Cairo-Alexandria and Cairo-Sinai, bringing up its total members to over 11,000. It’s a seemingly ingenious concept in its simplicity, but one that has gained co-founders, Adel El Mahrouky, Omar Sultan and Mohamed Abdelhalim, plenty of recognition, including being named as one of 21 finalists in the 2019 Shell Top Ten Innovator Awards and winning the Community Award at the French Egyptian Startup Competition in 2021.

For Tink, the chatbot is a huge leap for the startup, one that has been a long time coming.

“After two years of handling Tink’s entire operations manually through our Facebook groups, we were able to develop an open channel with our Tinkers and to listen intently to their needs,” said Tamer El Mahrouky, who also serves as the startups Managing Director. “Seeing the rise in demand, we have been testing the idea of automating our operations to provide our users with a 24/7 system that facilitates the experience. Thus, building on our current success, we are proud to launch the first- ever ride-sharing chatbot in the Middle East, taking our current experience to the next level.”

While convenience for travellers is the most immediate of impacts, Tink also aims to do its part to decrease Egypt’s notorious traffic and, subsequently, reduce the country’s collective carbon footprint in light of the fact that transportation is the third largest contributor to carbon emissions in Egypt after electricity and heat production. How much of a dent, a real tangible impact, Tink can make on these most pressing of issues is yet to be seen, but its new chatbot certainly represents an interesting new development in the ride-sharing market.

In the meantime, all you have to do is head to Facebook messenger and simply send ‘Hey Tink’ to get started.