Fresh out of Egypt’s matchless startup kitchen, the new app provides simple mobile match-making opportunities for developers, brokers, and consumers seeking to rent or buy a house.
Rent an apartment. Pay an insurmountable amount to the broker, only to find out that you have to leave it six months later because the owner wants it for his daughter. Seek another flat. Find a suitable one three weeks later, only to discover that the fridge is a breeding pool of living organisms and the bathroom leaks to the point of destroying the walls. Seek an apartment again. The struggles and hurdles of finding – and keeping – an apartment or a house are one endless cycle; the story of everyone’s lives in Egypt, especially those who’ve ever lived, or want to live, independently.
Tapping into this chaotic market, four young entrepreneurs have launched Beitko, a mobile application that offers a meeting point for consumers, developers, and brokers alike. “The idea came up as I was trying to get into investment myself,” says Co-Founder Adel Nasr who, like most of his business partners, is an airline pilot. “We all have our full-time jobs but wanted to invest, so I started trying and testing in the stock market, but was attracted by the real estate hype,” he says.
After researching and analysing the market, the entrepreneur realised the sector offers increasingly high returns on investment (ROI) – even more than banks – but its chaotic nature hinders both buyers and sellers to get their best value for money. “Just when I thought I had figured out my investment, I noticed that the whole market is chaotic and you do not get the best value unless you know someone, or your parents know someone,” he explains.
“Selling properties was also a nightmare, because there are so many brokers who will sell it lower than market value. These service providers are squeezing money out of the wrong people. And in order to sell it on your own you need to list it in the old school newspapers, so I started looking for options online,” says Nasr, who found the digital void an opportunity to set up business.
“I thought: if I’m having so much trouble trying to sell my stuff and I’m in it only for investment, what must it be like for people who do it out of need – the majority of population? There had to be some way to get easy access to those services,” says the 22-year-old entrepreneur, who partnered with Ahmed Dessouky, Seif Khalil, and Aly Fayez to launch the mobile app.
“Think of us as an advertising platform. We don’t charge commissions,” Nasr says. Boasting free access for users and free trial periods for both developers and brokers, the platform will then charge for ads to secure their revenue stream.
Based in Fujairah, UAE, the startup was launched last week and reached over 400 downloads in only five days. Launching soon in the Emirati city through the global exhibition Cityscape, the startup gears up to boost presence in the Gulf country, one of the largest markets when it comes to real estate, and Egypt, the most active one.