Meet the Eyptian start-up about to take on auction giant eBay in a bid to become the world's biggest online selling site. Ala2ona.com is already making waves despite being just three months old The site's co-founder Sherif Nafie dispells the myths surrounding the country's latest online shopping den.
Speaking about the site Nafie is quick to laugh at the comparison between the upcoming micorfirm and the huge multinational giant. "eBay model is defiantly a driver to us and we learn every day from the way they tackle the business needs of the market. "Ala2ona.com was first discussed between in March 2013. We found that auctions had not yet been tapped into in Egypt and decided we wanted to be the first Arabic speaking auction platform in Egypt and the Middle East."
The site's title comes from the Italian word which means '' Number one'' and is regularly used in Egypt in the auction bidding process. The project features three bidding options, Mazad el Lo2ta “where you can bid for pre-owned – Validated products," Mazad el Tawfeer, similar to a reverse auction, and Ala2ona Kheir, which provides an auction platform free-of-charge to NGOs. Ala2ona also allows direct purchases by consumers.
Meanwhile Nafie believes that the online auction industry is set to boom in the coming months. "Growth has been huge in Egypt, especially after the revolution as people discover how effective Internet can be. A major contributor to the success of e-commerce are social media tools that allow e-commerce websites to advertise and reach users faster than other mainstream methods. We're expecting our customer base to grow by 500% by 2016."However becoming Egypt's next big thing is not without challenges. The challenge that we can foresee is the culture change from offline to online buying especially using online payment. However, we are tackling this by providing a hassle-free and secure way of payments to buy their product and pay at their doorstep and by this we eliminate some of the fears regarding using credit cards."
The team could be set to head off to Silicon Valley, USA, after being shortlisted by black box venture capital (Google VC) to be represented in its boot camp for summer 2014. "We can't wait, the sky really is the limit for us right now."
For more information visit http://www.ala2ona.com