The Google-led programme will help the Egyptian startup develop their strategies and execute their mission of bringing more affordable and accessible ways for users to connect, discover and consume online services.
Wasla, the Cairo-born web browser startup, has joined Google’s Global Growth Program. The initiative looks to incubate high potential startups to help them gain traction, refine their strategies and provide actionable plans on how to scale, all within Google’s ecosystem.
“Our participation in the Google Global Growth Program gives us hands-on strategic advice and support to grow Wasla using the latest Google products and services,” Serag Meneassy, co-founder of Wasla tells StartupScene. “They help us create, execute and optimise our marketing strategy - resulting in faster more efficient user growth. We believe this is just another step forward in trying to achieve our vision for Wasla Browser.”
Founded by three Egyptian tech entrepreneurs Serag Meneassy, Mahmoud Said and Taymour Sabry, Wasla is helping emerging markets bypass the high cost of internet connectivity through a gamification business model, by leveraging digital advertising to reward users with free mobile internet.
“Over the past three years, 85% of global growth in mobile internet users originated from emerging markets, that’s almost 1 billion people,” adds Sabry. “However, emerging market users are just scratching the surface of what's possible online with limited infrastructure of fixed broadband and high sensitivity to the cost of mobile data continuing to be among the biggest barriers for users to actively discover and consume online services.”
Wasla’s efforts to bridge the gap of the cost of connectivity and the demand for it proved most pressing during the pandemic. The browser has been highly sought after during nationwide curfews implemented in connection to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Internet access has played a vital role during this crisis,” notes Said. “With the majority of daily habits shifting online over the last couple of months, we successfully tripled our user-base while providing thousands of users a more affordable and accessible way to stay connected.”
Prospering during COVID, while a rarity, hasn’t been uncommon. According to a report by MAGNiTT Intelligence Research Unit, startups have notably thrived in Egypt this year as the country’s maintained its regional lead for the number of startup financing and investment in 2020’s first quarter.
“We have been in a fortunate position to grow and take advantage of the situation while still creating a positive impact,” says Meneassy. “With the incredible support we have from our team, investors and business partners we aim to reach millions of users by the end of this year and test new markets while continuing to provide an affordable way to get online with Wasla Browser.”
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