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Egypt’s Elves secures $2m for AI-powered concierge services

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Cairo-based Elves has raised $2 million from one of Egypt’s leading VCs Sawari Ventures and its existing investors. A part of the investment was raised in February earlier this year and another in July. Sawari invested in both the transactions. The new investment takes Elves’ total raise to date to $5 million, said the startup.

Elves offers different on-demand services, through its AI-powered concierge app. The app enables users to chat with an elf (a term it uses for its human assistants) to help them buy stuff (online or offline), 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.

Elves has also been investing efforts and money to scale up its development in machine learning. It has recently appointed Dr. Mohamed El-Beltagy as the new CTO, who in turn has built up a team under one of the leading PhD’s in NLP, said the startup in a statement.

“They’ve successfully demonstrated how previous user requests can be reused to serve similar live requests thus raising the number of live concurrent users each human operator can handle. They are, in essence, generating “Alexa Skills” at a pace of tens of thousands a month through millions of live human conversations,” added the statement.

Wael Amin, Partner at Sawari Ventures, commenting on the investment, said, “What initially attracted us to Elves was its unique combination of AI and human concierge capabilities, giving it superior versatility and scalability over its competitors. The onset of Covid, and the company’s ability to quickly adapt to changing consumer behavior and scale to meet the surge in demand further reaffirmed our belief in the model, and led us to double down on our initial investment.”

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