“One career defining moment for us was when Jeff
Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon visited our
offices to learn more about our business.”
Fouad Jeryes, Co-Founder.
What is your product / service?
We enable shoppers in the emerging markets to make purchases on major e-commerce sites that do not serve their territories.
What do you do?
CashBasha lets you shop on Amazon and pay cash!
What’s your story?
We are an e-commerce technology company that enables shoppers in emerging markets to make purchases from international online shopping sites that do not serve their geographies, in seamless and automated manner with their preferred payment methods, local logistics, clearance and full customer service to their doorstep.
Our mission is to relieve the pains of customers in developing areas by creating disruptive layers of technology, building on new business processes and examining data to catalyze modern shopping services for the rest of the world. Our mandate is to produce efficient, elegant and machine-driven platforms that can be shared with the rapidly growing market of e-tailers so that they increase the efficiency, reduce cost and source or sell internationally from the get-go.
When did you join in5? How long have you been a member for?
We are just about to join in5 and going through the final stages of the registration process.
How did you come up with your business idea?
We had originally built www.payhyper.com, which is a cash collection network that aims to solve the COD problem. We also knew that the overwhelming majority of e-commerce in the region was coming from foreign websites that did not serve MENA customers and that way it was happening was problematic, complicated, and full of hassle. We thought we could build on what we had created in the payment space and offer customers a seamless way of shopping on targeted foreign websites and getting their items delivered straight to their doors, with all the preferred logistics, payments, customs, and customer service features, built right in.
What was the most defining moment for your business?
We’ve had a few, but one career defining moment for us was when Jeff Bezos, the CEO and founder of Amazon, visited our offices to learn more about our business. We also won major international awards in the startups space.
What is one fun fact everyone should know about your startup?
We wear fezzes all the time.
How is innovation relevant to your work? What’s innovative about your business?
We are the first company to automate and offer a seamless way to shop on international websites, get access to the full catalog and get the items delivered in exchange for cash. Previously, this type of shopping would require a credit card, package forwarding account and not knowing what your order will cost you in customs or shipping until after it. With us, there are no prerequisites and you get your items hassle free-much like if you were in the market you bought from.
Why did you choose to “start-in” at in5?
It’s a great opportunity for us to initiate our presence in the UAE with a startup friendly program that gives us a home and subsidizes the costs of starting up. In5 was a superb fit.
What are some of the advantages provided by in5?
Great mentors, a house to incubate us and low costs to startup.
What is the best thing about being at in5?
The management team there takes great care of you throughout the process.
What stage is your project at? What’s next?
We are in the early stages, but are looking to expand geographically throughout emerging markets.
Why did you start up in Dubai?
Dubai is a hotbed for startups in the region. It has become a center for technology companies to grow and gain access to significant markets.
What is the role of innovation in entrepreneurship?
You always need to differentiate yourself and your offering, so innovation is key to building a great business. We like to look at markets and business processes that already exist and add technology to them to make them better and take them to the next level.
What’s your top advice to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Prepare for mental strife and learn to embrace it. The entrepreneurial community will always push and promote others to start their own companies, solve problems in their local markets, raise money, grow and eventually try to make it. There has been a tendency to “glorify” entrepreneurship over the past decade or so, but nevertheless it is an incredible learning experience. One that, at least I find, will teach you more about yourself that anything else. It is an emotional journey that’s exhilarating and although you know it might be a challenge, it’s the “type” of difficulty that you will never be able to anticipate – no matter what you do. At tough times, you will question yourself. Your skills, your existence, and you will be surprised by your vulnerabilities. You may give up on much more than the company you are working on in the process. You may find yourself burned out and depressed out of your mind. Sadly, too little is told about the darker side of what you may experience while starting a company because it is a chapter that most don’t like to remember, but if you understand what the condition is and how to harness it, you will continue to be comfortable with yourself and can conduct the rest of your life accordingly. You put up with the condition and know it is part of your growth and discovery process. In the end, you will find that all of this should have no effect on your sanity, well-being or having a full life. Focusing on that is the key to being calm and too bad most of us can only learn that retroactively, but experience is always the best teacher.
Which are the established companies in your field that you admire?
Amazon / Zappos.
Which blue chip companies would you like to be in touch with and why?
Generally major e-commerce companies, because we have built tools that easily integrate and localize international services and present them to customers as if they were their very own.