A new startup in the Maghreb is taking aim at the fashion world.
Dabchy, a connected and online Tunisian business, started last year. Just 18 months later, the company has garnered some 200,000 users in Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria.
“What helped us to get started, is that there was a real need,” Dabchy CEO Ameni Mansouri told Maghreb News Wire on Sept. 15. “There are a lot of Facebook groups where women are buying and selling their clothing but without any protection for them; no guarantees. When we looked in the market, we found that there’s no 100 percent secured way to buy and sell clothes online in Tunisia and the MENA region.”
She found some developers, Mansouri said, and the rest is history. Mansouri described part of the company’s participative model.
“We decided to build of friendly community of fashion lovers,” Mansouri said. “We started with a Facebook group of friends, then friends of friends and then it grew naturally. We call actually our users 'Dabchouchas.'”
Every "Dabchoucha," Mansouri said, has an online dressing space where users can like and comment on her items, and follow her if they share her style or size.
“We are solving a real problem,” Mansouri said. “Most women are fashion lovers, they have dressers full of clothing, but they end up with nothing to wear when they need an outfit. So we offer them an online platform where they can revamp their wardrobes: they make money by selling their unused clothing and save money by buying other items at discount prices.”
Describing Dabchy’s success locally, Mansouri noted the company won the third place at the Seedstars Tunisia competition, and ranked as semifinalists at Bloommasters, a competition organized in Tunisia by Biat Foundation.
“The ecosystem of startups in our country is well-developed, especially in the last two years with many initiatives, startup accelerators and competitions,” Mansouri said.
Dabchy, she said, already has some investment backing from Flat6labs Tunis, a regional startup accelerator and VC fund.
“The investment will help us assess our position as the first fashion marketplace in Tunisia, and then expand in other countries in the MENA region, such as Egypt, UAE and KSA,” Mansouri said.