Egypt’s life science startup Nawah Scientific raises $1m round for market expansion
Egyptian life science startup Nawah Scientific announced the the closing a second pre-series A round of $1 million in mixed equity and debt capital, raising its total funding to $2 million, maintaining its position as the most funded life science venture in MENA, with plans to close a significant Series A round later in 2021.
This announcement comes shortly after Nawah has celebrated inaugurating its new hub of labs, which was described as “The biggest private multidisciplinary research hub in Egypt”, and almost a year after winning the 2nd position in the prestigious competition, Africa Business Heroes by Ali Baba’s founder, Jack Ma.
With a mission to empower scientific research and scientists in the region, Nawah is Egypt’s no.1 destination to outsource scientific services and research/analytical experiments. Nawah’s online platform receives experiments requests, a courier collects samples for analysis, Nawah’s scientists carry needed tests and return results online. By this, Nawah enables scientists to do higher quality research regardless of their location and owned lab facilities. Moreover, Nawah is now an integral part of the Pharma industry in Egypt with hundreds of samples flowing for analysis, routine check or formulations requiring improvement by Nawah pharmaceutical formulation team.
Founded in 2015, Nawah has analyzed over 50K+ samples from 3000+ clients in 9 countries. Nawah played a significant role during COVID 19 pandemic in fighting poor-quality disinfectants, developing novel formulations for skin friendly sanitizers and was awarded a 2M EGP grant (Close to $125,000) with other partners to develop a new technology for COVID 19 testing, a project that is being carried out.
Recently, Nawah has grown its analytical facilities 5X in 2020 with aggressive plans to expand out of pharmaceuticals to food, agriculture, and petrochemical industries, all known to depend heavily on quality control tests, that will be provided by Nawah. This investment comes primarily from Egypt Ventures, the Egyptian government backed fund and one of Nawah’s early investors and board directors, who decided to double down on their initial investment. This round is also joined by the newly launched Alexandria Fund (AF), in addition to Cairo Angels, Alex Angels, HULT Alumni Angels among several international Angels, who strongly believe in the company mission.
Omar Sakr , Founder, Nawah Scientific: “Every day, I realize that Nawah’s potential is way beyond our initial imagination and that we are barely scratching the surface! Our work has significantly empowered the scientific society in Egypt and we are expanding next year to surrounding countries with an aggressive plan to cover MENA and Africa in the foreseeable future. I’m extremely thankful to the amazing team of scientists who is making this happen”.
Ahmed Gomaa, CEO, Egypt ventures: “Egypt Ventures has a clear mandate to support exceptional Egyptian Startups bringing actual value to the Egyptian community. We have witnessed Nawah firsthand and we have seen how they deliver on their promise to empower scientific research in the entire MEA region and we are thrilled to be part of their journey as they scale their offerings and expand into new markets.”
Tarek El Kady, General Partner, Alexandria Fund (AF): “We have closely witnessed Nawah’s journey firsthand with great pride as Alexandria Angel Network. Nawah is perfectly set to serve a huge market in the Middle East & Africa, and we are happy to have Nawah among our very first investments of our early stage ventures fund.”
Life Science ventures are not common in the MENA region. Being naturally high risk businesses and given that investors are usually skeptical about this sector, this round of investment by Nawah marks a pivotal change and paves the way for other science-based startups to knock doors and raise funds.