Farah Emara co-founded FreshSource with her brother Omar, the startup’s COO, in 2018. FreshSource is an Egyptian B2B agritech platform, which streamlines the fresh-produce value chain and works directly with local farmers. It leverages data and technology to work with producers and sells fresh produce directly to businesses. In February, the startup raised an undisclosed “seven-figure” seed round to help it scale its operations across Egypt, and serve more farming communities by cutting back on food waste.
What is your biggest challenge as a founder in Egypt?
I believe that a key challenge is the lack of data that can be purchased that can be used to make educated decisions and set your strategy. From my experience, it is extremely difficult to find data in the agriculture space, and we had to conduct a lot of research and invest heavily in our data collection methods for the past four years. While this is a challenge, it can also be a significant barrier to entry for competitors.
How will the disruptions in the global food supply chain affect you most directly as a startup in this space?
The disruptions in the global food supply chain will have a ripple effect on most industries. In our case, the connection is quite clear, as the shortage of wheat is a critical problem, as Egyptians rely heavily on bread consumption. This has resulted in an increase in all food prices, and is expected to continue to do so over the next few months.
What key way has your business model evolved since you launched?
While the core of the business model has remained the same, we always work on optimizing our unit economics, so this can drive us to focus on a key customer segment or product portfolio.