Start-up of the week: Cartlow

Rupkatha Bhowmick

Founded in 2019 by Mohammed Sleiman, UAE-based Cartlow is a re-commerce app, filling a gap in the pre-owned market, providing a solution for retailers and consumers. Cartlow has already sold over 100,000 items since the official launch, ranging from smartphones and tablets to laptops, television, watches, toys, home appliances and much more.

By taking on returned and excess goods from retailers, Cartlow reduces waste and carbon emissions through its recycling and reselling programme, while offering customers “unbeatable prices.” What’s more, Cartlow has also raised its first round of funds – six-digit USD figure – from Arzan Venture Capital, Vision Ventures, and a group of angel investors.

What inspired you to launch Cartlow?

Sleiman: We witnessed a demand from friends and family asking about items that may be open box or pre-owned. At the same time, through experience, we have noticed that as of today there isn’t a structured liquidation operation in the market.  This inspired us to launch Cartlow, providing customers with pre-owned items at unbeatable prices while taking care of delivery, returns and warranty, and providing a solution for many retailers and distributors to liquidate their aged, returned and overstock items. After all, launching a start-up is about finding a gap in the market, a need, and coming in with a solution to fulfil it.

How many retailers do you have on board?

Sleiman: We work with major retailers, offering access to over 350 brands.

What kind of year-on-year / month-on-month rise in downloads have you seen?

Sleiman: We have seen a major rise in downloads since we launched. On average, there is a 30% increase month-on-month, which brings us today to over 500K downloads.

What is your revenue generation model?

Sleiman: Our revenue generation model is based on the margins of the products we sell.

How many employees do you have and how are you protecting them while staying afloat at this difficult time?

Sleiman: We are a team of 30 members. We are complying with government regulations to keep everyone safe. Our operations team is on the ground to fulfil customer’s needs during this difficult time, while following the sanitisation and social distancing regulations.

What does your future growth plan entail?

Sleiman: This week itself, we have started to pitch for our next round of funding to expand further in product selection, B2B solutions and geographical coverage, while scaling our technology department.