Tech News Across Africa

Meet the Egyptian digital marketing disruptor, Cognitev


Egyptian startup Cognitev is currently disruption the digital marketing space, with the aim of making it more efficient using artificial intelligence. It democratizes digital marketing and has seen impressive uptake of its product.

Launched in Cairo in 2014, Cognitev is a big data company that focuses on the intersection of content and commerce. It’s now expanding across the world as the popularity of its solution grows with offices in California, New York and Dubai.

Founder Moustafa Mahmoud launched the company as a result of his own negative experiences as he tried to acquire traffic to one of his previous ventures, which ultimately failed because of his failure to do so.

“I used to have an e-commerce site. I couldn’t do digital marketing myself, or find an agency that would do it for me with my tiny budget, and I ran into lots of other entrepreneurs who have the same problem. All they wanted was a “push-button” solution, an Uber for marketing, and it didn’t exist. So I decided to build it,” he said.

What he built was Cognitev, which allows users to enter a URL, push a button, and start getting high quality traffic and customers to their website immediately. The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to do everything a human digital marketer would do.

It crawls the text, images, and other information available on a website, and automatically creates campaigns on several traffic sources, including but not limited to Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and LinkedIn. Customers are charged per “visit”, a high-quality visitor who landed on a website and was verified by Google Analytics, rather than by impression or click.

“Digital marketing is a very fragmented and complex industry, with over 7,000 players. It is also dominated by Google and Facebook. We are on a mission to democratise digital marketing to the world,” Mahmoud said.

Cognitev aims to address this complexity and cut out the middlemen, with a simple solution that “anyone and their grandmother can use”. This simplicity has proven popular, with the startup now having customers in 22 countries.

“We serve Fortune 500 customers and small companies. I think we’ve hit a pain point that’s universal for anyone who has an online presence. Traffic is something everyone with a URL needs,” said Mahmoud.

Though the startup raised some seed funding in 2015 and 2016, it became profitable in 2017 and thus has not needed any investment since. It is now scaling, however, and Mahmoud is considering raising some growth capital.


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