We are very happy to announce today that our first investment is in Melltoo, a social network that connects buyers and sellers of secondhand goods. Morrad Irsane (CEO) and Sharene Lee (COO) launched the company in Dubai in March 2014. Already they have 85,000 downloads, 25,000 active users and daily growth of 400+ users.
Melltoo was one of the first companies to present to our members and they delivered a very impressive pitch. We asked Morrad and Sharene a few questions to learn more about Melltoo.
What was the inspiration behind Melltoo?
Hyper-consumption is a global problem. Yet, it is a problem that can be alleviated if we all just resell and reuse our things. However, there isn’t an easy way to sell the little (and even big) things in our lives that we no longer need. That’s why we built Melltoo, to provide an easier and friendlier way to sell the things in our lives that we don’t use anymore.
Melltoo is different to most other classified listings because of the deep social integration with the product. Why is this important?
Melltoo is a marketplace where people can buy and sell things. Classifieds are primarily a means to advertise something and to get leads. Melltoo, with our payment and delivery services, lets users buy and sell second hand things directly through the app, without even having to leave their homes.
The deep social integration has a purpose–to build trust in the marketplace. Being able to see users’ profiles and interacting with other users builds relationships and trust, which is the key component of a successful peer to peer marketplace.
You’ve seen some very impressive growth – why do you think Gulf residents have been so quick to embrace Melltoo?
Because we are solving a problem. People here shop a lot, move a lot, and have a lot to sell. The current options for selling their things are so cumbersome that they would rather just dump them or give them away. Because Melltoo helps Gulf residnts buy and sell easily, and in doing so solves a pain point, they have been quick to embrace the platform.
What’s next for Melltoo?
We are rolling out our payment and delivery services which should further accelerate the buying and selling process. This will be implemented one product vertical at a time. The investment secured from Womena will help us get to revenue-generation after which our series A round awaits.
How’s your experience with WOMENA been?
Our experience with WOMENA has been wonderful. Seeking investment is typically a painful and time-consuming process that diverts attention away from growing our business. With WOMENA, the process has been quick and smooth. The WOMENA team, despite being highly demanding in performing due diligence, is extremely efficient and the turnaround time was under 3 weeks. This is incredible, considering all the care that was put into the process. I can honestly say that I wish all investors did things the way WOMENA does.
Really had a blast pitching (with a black curtain behind me) last night @womena_co ‘s very first pitch meeting! These ladies mean b$zn$z
— Sharene Lee (@melltoo_mom) December 11, 2014