EGYPT – Elves, a virtual assistance startup based in Cairo, Egypt has raised US$2 million in funding this year, from a number of investors including one of Egypt’s leading VCs Sawari Ventures.

The new investment takes Elves’ total raise in its pre-Series A round to the US$5 million mark.

Elves was started in 2017 as a service on Facebook Messenger where users could chat with an elf (a term it uses for its human assistants) to get things done but has now evolved to offer this through its own dedicated app.

Through its AI-powered concierge app, the virtual assistance app offers different on-demand services including online and offline purchase of commodities.

Users can also use the app to book flights or hotels, pay bills, or even get some very customized requests addressed (e.g. arranging a car with flowers in it).

Most of the offline services that Elves offers are only available for users in Egypt but anything that’s online is being offered to users all around the world.

Wael Amin, partner at Sawari Ventures, said what initially attracted the company to Elves was its unique combination of AI and human concierge capabilities, which he said gives it superior versatility and scalability over its competitors.

Founded in 2017, Elves is a tech-driven virtual assistant platform using a “human in the loop” methodology to drive machine learning and build “Alexa Skills”.

The chat-based platform allows users to talk to a “superhuman assistant” to do anything, anywhere in the world, for free.

The startup that was founded by a husband-wife duo; Karim Elsahy and Abeer Elsisi secured a US$2 million seed round in 2017 from Emaar, Kauffman Fellows Syndicate, and Dubai Angel Investors.

 The startup has since seen strong growth in demand for its products especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and has now turned its attention to a pre-Series A round, which now stands at US$5 million.

According to a statement by Disrupt Africa the initial round was completed back in February 2020, with additional follow-on in July reflecting confidence in Elves, which expanded its user base by 500 per cent since the start of the pandemic.

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