Gathering around a thousand recurring users in less than six months, this legal startup wants to connect certified law firms to those who need help.
It all started in a panel in a conference hosted by American Chamber on fintech and online banking. Nada ElDib was one of the attendees, listening to one of the experts speaking about how the world revolves around mobile phones. She looked around her, the hall was almost entirely men in their fifties holding at least one smart phone. Coming from a family of lawyers, and working at a family-run law firm, she connected the dots and thought of an app that would credibly answer to legal questions at a tap of a screen.
“Today, everyone is a lawyer,” ElDib tells Startup Scene. “That is because the faculties of law require very low high school GPA, and usually people are caught in scam.”
ElDib had no tech background, but she had a friend entrepreneur who had just set up her app so she guided her through setting up her platform. “Maat is the ancient Egyptian goddess of justice and order, something we lack here,” she explains. “One of the pain points that drove me to launch Maatisaal is that a lot of women do not know their rights, they do not know that – legally - Egypt doesn’t discriminate based on gender… it does not have an equivalent law to the 70 cents to the dollar law in the US for example. But not knowing that gets them trapped in corruption-driven injustice. That’s where Maatisaal comes in.”
After developing the app, ElDib and her small team tried to figure out a model that wouldn’t let their resources scattered all over the place. Maatisaal’s platform caters for ten fields of legal advice and they’re aiming to decrease to six. “According to our marketing research, we found that the fields where people seek legal advice the most are SMEs, family, corporate law,” says ElDib. “So far, we have one law firm on board, but the aim is to get more so that each law firm would be responsible for a field.”
In terms of revenue streams, ElDib finds that raising money from ads won’t work with their model. “It won’t look legit,” she says. That leaves her with subscription fees which she’ll be raising from both law firms and legal advice seekers. So far, Maatisaal attracted 900 recurring users in the span of six months. After setting their foot in the Egyptian market, they plan to expand to GCC and Africa.
Up till 2017, ElDib and her team found that 60 million cases were pending in Egyptian courts. “I’s an insane number; over 144,000 cases were about inheritance,” she explains. “Knowing your laws will help you stay out of court.”
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