Mohammed Elhorishy co-founded Taager in December 2019 with Ismail Omar, Abdelrahman Sherif, and Ahmed Ismail. It’s an Egyptian social e-commerce platform that connects online merchants on social media with wholesalers. Taager reportedly has 5,000 merchants on its platform and raised $6.4 million in a seed round in April, led by 4DX Ventures.

What’s the biggest tech opportunity in the MENA region that’s often overlooked?

Optimizing the informal distribution infrastructure and supply chain and revolutionizing this area is the biggest opportunity in the region. The informal sector accounts for around 60% to 70% of local economies in the MENA region. That part of the economy is the least affected by the magic of tech, as they’re working with techniques that were deployed ages back. 

What’s the most common misconception about the MENA market?

That we can’t innovate on our own. Any MENA entrepreneur must be asked, “So you are the MENA region company version of which international concept?” or “Which company are you looking up to?” It took us a while to convince investors that we at Taager thought of it like no other before. 

What trends in social commerce are you excited about for your region?

Definitely more and more people believe in online sellers. We are also seeing providers building services and packages for social commerce providers, placing it in a more central position in the commerce game. We are also seeing that different verticals of the social commerce ecosystem are taking shape. You will find that there is now an entire market dedicated to selling to women, another for influencers, a third for online sellers as well as peer-to-peer and mom-and-pop shops, and they all have the potential for unicorns in each vertical. 

*This 3 Minutes With interview first appeared in Rest of World’s weekly newsletter. Sign up here.