This Earth Day, declutter your unwanted electronics to save lives

Did you know your used iPhone 6 can feed 100 refugees? This Earth Day, reduce your e-waste and save lives in the process. Dubai-based startup Melltoo, no-melltoo classifieds, has partnered with local startups Fetchr, Washmen and The Box to collect your used electronics for free. The devices will be reset, data wiped and sold for charity. Funds will go to Salma Aid, a Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid initiative that provides food relief for victims of humanitarian crises.

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and celebrated in more than 193 countries each year.

According to Morrad Irsane, cofounder of Melltoo: “Most of us in the UAE have mobile phones, laptops and TVs that we no longer use. They collect dust in a drawer or closet somewhere. Eventually, we throw them away. When we do this, not only do we contribute to the growing e-waste problem, we’re throwing away money that can be used to help people. We at Melltoo collect these electronics, we clean and reset them, then sell them to support refugees. We reduce the clutter in your lives and reduce the amount of e-waste produced, while helping people.”

As consumer electronics become indispensable tools in everyday lives, e-waste is a rapidly escalating problem. More than 45 million tons of e-waste are produced globally every year, the equivalent of 100 Burj Khalifa towers. The global average is 6.1 kg per person of e-waste a year. Compare that to the UAE average of 13.6kg of e-waste per resident in the Emirates.

UAE has “one of the world’s lowest life expectancy of electronics and high amounts of consumption, making the country produce substantial amounts of electronic waste annually”, according to an e-waste report by the United Nations University, UN information and communication technology agency, The International Telecommunication Union and the non-profit International Solid Waste Association,

While there are several initiatives to recycle e-waste in the UAE, Melltoo takes it one step further. The startup first attempts to sell devices that are in reasonable condition then recycles what cannot be sold through their partners. Sale proceeds go to support Salma Aid, a Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid initiative that provides food relief for victims of humanitarian crises.

On the occasion of Earth Day, the startup has partnered with Washmen, Fetchr and The Box to collect used electronics from UAE residents. For the week of Earth Day, from 22 – 28 April, they will collect consumer electronics like mobile phones and devices, laptops and computers, accessories, TVs, game consoles and the like. Customers of Washmen, an on-demand laundry service, can add a box of unwanted electronics along with their laundry pickup. Washmen collects everything and delivers them to The Box, a self-storage facility in Al Quoz that has donated storage space to store the electronics while they are being prepped for sale. In addition, Fetchr, a last-mile logistics company, will also do home pickups of used electronics for free. Melltoo, along with a team of student volunteers will clean and reset all devices and list them for sale.

“We are grateful to our partners, The Box, Washmen, Fetchr and our student volunteers for their generosity in supporting this Earth Day #Declutter4aCause initiative, in line with the Year of Zayed. The problems of e-waste and the refugee crisis are not problems that one entity or person can solve alone. It is through working together and getting everyone involved that we can really make a difference.” said Morrad Irsane of Melltoo.

So, don’t wait. This Earth Day, declutter your unwanted electronics, free up some space in your overflowing closets, save the planet and help people.

For more information and to get involved. http://uae.melltoo.com/donate

 

You sell, they live a better life. Melltoo offers an efficient way to donate to UAE registered charities through its classifieds marketplace

You sell, they win. You’re an Impacter.

We’ve created a new feature called “Impacter” in response to the feedback of sellers in the UAE. Sellers can now resell their items on our platform for a cause. When they #Resell4aCause, people in-need “win.”

We’ve partnered with charities, such as the UAE Red Crescent and Salma Aid, that are licensed to collect donations in the UAE. We will add new causes along the way in an effort to increase our and your impact on society

How it works?

Our goal has always been and still is helping people buy-sell easy on our no-meetup classifieds platform.

1, Sellers choose to add an “Impacter” badge to their listings in the feed.

(Seller uploads item for sale)

  1. Seller chooses registered charity to whom they donate their sale proceeds (In part or full)
  2. Organization receives money and seller receive “Impacter credit” in-app

NB: The donation amount is equal to the cash amount that the seller would usually receive (The amount the seller would usually receive will now go to charity of choice instead.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Listings on the app

  1. How do buyers know which items are for “impacter” (being sold for a cause) and which are “regular” Melltoo listings?

All listings for “impacter” have a footprint icon  on them. The beneficiary cause is also indicated in the item details screen.

  1. Can I choose which listings I want to #Resell4aCause?

Yes! Before you submit a new listing for sale on the app, you will get the chance to select whether sale proceeds go entirely to you or if you want to donate sale proceeds to a cause of your choice.

  1. Can I change Impacter status after someone buys my item? In other words can I change my mind about donating sale proceeds after the sale has taken place?

No, you may not. All impacter listings become definitive when a buyer places an order for that particular listing. This means you will not be able to change the impacter status.

Transactions

  1. What are the different payment methods on Melltoo (and Melltoo Impacter)?

You can pay for items you see on the Melltoo app with your Melltoo wallet. You will either pay with cash on delivery once the item is shipped to your address or a debit/credit card. You can use free credit from Melltoo as well for up a 50% discount on any item (300AED max per transaction).

  1. How do I donate money?

You can’t donate cash directly. If you wish to do so, please contact the charities directly. What Impacter does is transform your stuff into cash for a cause. After successfully selling your item, your newly available cash sale money will be transferred to the charity account you preselected.

  1. Can an “impacter” transaction get cancelled by admin?

Unfortunately, yes. “Impacter” transactions are regular transactions on Melltoo. They’re subject to monitoring by our SAFE team and they may be cancelled if the either the buyer or the seller end the transaction before completion.

Melltoo Wallet

  1. Where can I see how much I’ve sold for a cause?

You can check all your sales, both normal and Impacter sales, through your user profile.

Returns

  1. Do return fees apply to sales of “impacter” sales?

All return rules apply to impacter transactions. In the event of a return, depending on the reasons, either buyers or sellers will incur a return fee if applicable.

  1. How do I track my return shipment?

Depending on the company that is delivering your item (you’ll receive order details confirmation once the shipment is booked).

Special features

  1. What is Impacter credit?

Every time you successfully sell a new item that is marked for “impacter”, you receive impacter credit. In the near future, Impacter credit can be redeemed for freebies provided by our partners.

  1. Will I be recognized for donating money through Impacter?

Every 4 months, we will publish a report on all donations made through the Melltoo app and the recipient charities. Melltoo usernames will be published along with the corresponding amounts contributed.

  1. Can I make anonymous donations?

If users choose to remain anonymous, we will not share their personal details, we will share however their Melltoo username, as it appears on the app, in our quarterly reports (publicly available).

  1. Is my item safe during shipment?

Melltoo’s Pay&Ship guarantees that once goods are shipped through us, they will get to the customer and the seller will be paid. As long as items are properly packaged, any damaged incurred during shipping will be covered by the couriers.

Registered partner charities

All of Melltoo Impacter partners are registered charities in the UAE. Melltoo has a government-issued license through each partner to collect funds on their behalf in the UAE.

Please click here for an updated list of our partner registered charities.

Emirates Red Crescent

Emirates Red Crescent is the local UAE branch of The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). They fund medical and disaster relief missions in the UAE and around the world.

Salma Aid

Salma Aid is a local UAE charity founded by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. Salma funds food relief efforts for refugees and misplaced populations in distress areas.

Friends of Cancer Patients

Friends of Cancer Patients in a local UAE-based charity founded by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Wife to the Ruler of Sharjah-UAE and International Ambassador of the World Cancer Declaration for Union for International Cancer Control (UICC). FoCP is committed to helping cancer patients and their families get through the long and arduous journey of cancer treatment through both moral and financial support of patients and their families irrespective of nationality, gender, age, religion or ethnicity. 

Resell For Environmental Impact, What It looks Like in Real Life

The last month has not been easy. A series of hurricanes devastated many cities in the Caribbean as well as mainland America. Flooding in India, Nepal and Bangladesh killed nearly 1,200 people and shut down thousands of schools. Wildfires raged through deforested lands, destroying homes and people’s livelihoods on their way.

Scientists and nearly everyone in the business community recognize these events as partially caused by climate change and the impact of overproduction on our planet.

We, Melltoo, recognize that mass production drives people to consume more and burn up more gases to produce enough energy for our needs. All of this mass consumption is a primary cause of unseasonal weather, deforestation, droughts and flooding. After all, if we’re burning fuel, fracking, cutting and over-cultivating, new strange events will happen.

We launched Impacter because of our belief that selling second hand can play a powerful part in helping reduce overconsumption. We want to add a third “R” to the 3Rs, reduce, reuse, recycle and RESELL. We want to stand for responsible consumerism. We want to stand for responsible business.

Since day one, our goal has always been to give our users the best classifieds experience ever. We facilitate their buying, selling, shipping and payment all in one app. The Impacter initiative is our effort to approach a 7-star customer experience, where every member of the Melltoo community is not only a responsible consumer but ultimately an Impacter.

Impacter was launched on Android and iOS apps in October 2017. Impacter helps our community #Resell4aCause. Instead of hoarding stuff in your closet that you don’t use, simply list them for sale on Melltoo, turn them into cash that goes to support a cause you select. Impacter means that selling used items can be a force for good not only by reducing waste but also by giving back to social causes.

The idea has been cooking slowly through several iterations since last Spring and it truly reflects the ideals and values that Melltoo holds dearly. They are the same values of trust and no-waste (we’re the no-meetup classifieds after all!) that have guided our business since the beginning.

Morrad Irsane, CEO and Chief Value Officer for our brand and company: “We launched impacter to make a positive impact on society with the help of our community of buyers and sellers. The power to enact real positive change in society is up to us the people. If everyone makes the small step of reselling for a cause, the world will become a better place.”

For our users, it’s quite simple. User “Maryam” sells for a cause because it just makes sense.

Melltoo Wins First Prize For Best Female-Led Startup @ GITEX2017

We would like to celebrate with you our win at the GITEX 2017 Supernova Competition in the category of “Best Female-Led Startup”. Watch our COO, Sharene Lee’s, pitch.

Sharene credits the Melltoo team for her win: “I may be the one on-stage, but it’s the team that deserves all the credit. I’m just the conduit.”

Read also: Melltoo Pioneer Social Classifieds Towards A More Sustainable Economy in the UAE

Culture contributes to team synergy and is a key factor to our success as a company. We have blogged previously about our culture of collaboration, team spirit and the unique remote work format that we have developed over the years. that all have allowed Melltoo to thrive as a technology resources and allocate resources to technology to develop Pay&Ship or completely revamp or post flow and our search flow.

We’re packing a new technology within the new release of the app that will even unlock the monetary value of secondhand items in the local economy. As a mission-driven company, we take pride in not only providing bug-free technology for our users, but also empower them through this technology to use their newly earned money for social good.

2017 CACSC Dubai Final!

We’re also glad to announce our participation to the Create @ Alibaba Cloud competition in Shanghai this October 2017!

More details about the competition.

Melltoo Nominated To World Summit Awards In Vienna For For Most Innovative Digital Solution in Government and Citizen Engagement in UAE

Melltoo Marketplace will be present at the World Summit Awards in Vienna in March in 2018 to unveil our newest product feature to date: Melltoo (Social) Impacter.

The World Summit Wards reunites global businesses from the world over who are leaders in their own fields in several categories such as government and citizen engagement (Melltoo is nominated for this category), green energy, commerce, culture and a myriad of other specializations. Find out more here.

Melltoo will join the ranks of regional and world-famous products such as Angry Birds and Anghami. We look forward to effectively transform community e-commerce for social good in the UAE.

Melltoo Social Impacter is a new feature embedded into the Melltoo app that allows Mellsters to buy and sell for a cause. Like we did with online secondhand commerce, our job is to reduce friction for both donors and charities. We transform in-kind contributions to cash that is easily, cheaply and transparently transferred to charities in the UAE of the seller’s choice. In the process, we unlock the value of “stuff” that sits in drawers and storage rooms across the country, simultaneously combatting overproduction while giving back to social causes.

The idea and passion behind Melltoo impacter stems from our business and our team’s core beliefs in the values of efficiency through an A-Z e-commerce approach to classifieds sales and sustainability through conscionable consumerism. Every day, Melltoo users decide to sell their secondhand items instead of disposing them into increasing unmanageable landfills.

For more information about Melltoo impacter, sign up for our blog newsletter and social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn).

Ramadan 2017: Melltoo No-Meetup Classifieds Supports HH Sheikh Ben Zayed’s Year of Giving

“The UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has declared 2017 as the Year of Giving.

‘Giving’ is a value we cherish and saw personified in the UAE’s Founding Father Sheikh Zayed. We continue to see this philanthropic legacy embodied by his sons and ingrained in the DNA of our society. Through my humble experience, I believe giving is not limited to monetary donations. Rather, “giving” is defined by the differences we make: the differences in someone’s life, in a society, or in a nation. Sheikh Zayed’s legacy is not measured in the generous donations he made to the less fortunate only, but in the impact he has had on our lives and our country forever. This is our goal for the Year of Giving – to make a difference in the lives of those we care for, and in ourselves.”  –Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

Melltoo Marketplace embraces the vision of our national leaders and looks forward to Ramadan 2017 as an opportunity to start making an impact on society.

We invite you to join us in giving back and helping those those among us in need.

Here is how YOU can help:

  • List your pre-owned items to sell. Make the world a more sustainable place by re-selling your stuff.
  • We will sell your stuff for you. We will promote your items to buyers, pick up and deliver your items as well as transfer your money to you.
  • Make a difference in someone’s life. Melltoo will donate 1% of all sales proceeds during Ramadan 2017 to provide food for the needy with the help of Emirates Red Crescent.

Remember, every action, no matter how small, counts. Start selling now.

Download our app and list your items immediately via melltoo.me/downloadapp (this link will take to your phone’s app store).

As with every year, we will glad to have our buyers continuously shop on our app to save money while reducing the need to produce more and increase waste. During the entire month of Ramadan, earn free credit daily (up to AED 500) with us and buy preloved electronics, fashion, and more for you and your family.

How it works:

  • Answer our daily trivia questions in-app. Learn more about Ramadan, charity, and culture in the UAE
  • Earn credit for correct answers. The answer to each trivia question is a promocode that earns you credit to spend.
  • Spend your credit when you want. Accumulate credit and spend it when you want to purchase pre owned electronics, fashion, and home items (Terms and Conditions apply).

You can only play this guessing game and use the promo codes on the mobile applications.

Start earning credit now: melltoo.me/downloadapp (download the app and create an account)

Remember, every time you buy something, 1% of the sales proceeds will be donated to Emirates Red Crescent.

Help us give back to society. Join us and together we will make a difference.

If you want to read about Melltoo’s vision and plan to contribute to the UAE’s sustainability efforts and goal to reduce waste, read our latest blog post: Melltoo Manifesto, Vision and Values.

 

Melltoo Manifesto: Vision, Mission, Values

When we first started Melltoo, we started with scratching an itch, solving a pain point that we personally had, the terrible user experience of classifieds. Deep down, classifieds appealed to us on an emotional level because it encompasses several of our personal convictions.

  • We, as the human race, should not waste the precious resources we have been given by our creator. Classifieds is the key to resale and reuse.
  • We believe in community and the need to strengthen its bonds across social, economic, and cultural divides. Classifieds allows participation by all segments of the community.

Along the startup journey, as we busily grew the company from 2 to 25, we lost sight of some of the ideals that guided us in the first place. So over the last several weeks, we did some soul-searching in an effort to define our “raison d’etre” as a company. This is our we’ve come up with.

Our Vision

To change the way we consume things to enable society to strike a balance between consumerism and sustainability. To advocate for responsible consumerism through resale and reuse and to fight the disease of inaction. Great leaps forward begin with small steps.

Our Mission

The preservation of our only planet is the business of all and not the few. The only way to achieve this mission is to get the masses involved and the only way to get the masses involved is to make it easy for them to get involved. Hence, our mission is to make buying and selling preowned goods so easy it becomes an enjoyable and rewarding part of everyday life, enabling everyone to do their part in building a more sustainable society.

Our Values

  1. Individual responsibility = everyone is responsible for their own actions, be it our staff or consumers in general
  2. Social responsibility = It is our responsibility, as part of society, to give back to society
  3. People before technology = As technology becomes a mediator between people, we must not regard technological advancement as superior to human advancement. Technology exists to serve people.
  4. Customers are people just like us, they deserve to be treated the way we would want to be treated
  5. Always ask why = question the status quo, if there isn’t a good reason for something, then change something

Our Product Pillars

  1. Peer2peer = a marketplace for mass participation where buyers are sellers and sellers are buyers.
  2. Trust = the marketplace actively works to establish and protect trust within the community
  3. Innovation = innovate or die
  4. Service = beyond technology, our product is also about service and our responsibilities to our customers

As we look ahead in building the region’s foremost peer2peer marketplace, we will take our vision, mission, and values as guideposts along the way.

Melltoo Commits to Sustainability As Driving Force Behind Its Business

Not so long ago, we published our manifesto to our users, readers and the startup community. It has taken us three years to figure out how to communicate the vision and passion that have been the driving force behind our business and work culture.

Aa a peer2peer classifieds business, we have empowered thousands of individuals in the UAE to sell among one another, reuse, resell, make some money, save some money and conserve our planet’s resources.

Mellsters love a good deal and love to make some money off their old stuff. However, that’s not the only reason they buy and sell secondhand, they do it because they want to conserve our only planet. Every effort in extending the life cycle of a product contributes to extending the life cycle of our planet.

The unheard story of cotton

Sustainability is often an abstract notion for many people, but what is really? It is the notion that we ought to preserve the resources on earth and in our words “strike a balance” between the need or the urge to consume and its consequences on the planet.

Let’s take cotton, a major component in clothing and apparel. Fast fashion trends in recent years have accelerated the consumption of clothing as people continuously add to their wardrobes in an effort to keep up. While consumption is good for the economy, it comes at a cost.

Cotton products exhaust our water resources. Water is long thought of as a renewable resource, but with decades of droughts in different parts of the world, this no longer seems to be true. Add to this the effect of industrial polution and it’s no longer clear how renewable our water really is. Additionally, many security organizations now say that water has become a major security concern. Therefore, water (or lack of thereof) are potential sources of conflicts in the near future (think of the Nile dam tension in Eastern Africa).

Twenty thousand liters are spent to produce 1kg of cotton ergo one t-shirt. If 20,000 displaced refugees had a liter of water every time we produce a new t-shirt, the world would be a better place today. We would be able to save lives instead of producing more t-shirts that will eventually end in garbage bins and landfills.

Questionable labor conditions

Market forces ensure that basic cotton t-shirts do not sell for more than 5 dollars a piece. A major department store would typically pay between 1 to 2 dollars to a factory in Bangladesh for a T-shirt. The 2 dollars would be spread between overhead and labor costs. The Bangladeshi factory worker typically receive cents for their labor.

Mass production and the economics of  t-shirts encourage wage stagnation in manufacturing countries. These laws and regulations are often proctored and protected by the government in many countries. We do not want to be part of the problem.

Waste management

Waste management is a significant financial and environmental problem in many countries. UAE is not an exception. While the UAE recycles only 25% of its waste, we should aim higher.

eWaste

Electronics have become a major source of waste with new editions of different devices released every year. Technology changes rapidly and things become obsolete in a matter of months. In the age of the new normal, people prefer to pay up the price difference for a new device rather than get stuck with an old design. TV’s, mobile devices, PC’s all need to be recycled.

eWaste is an ever-growing problem because electronic products consist many non-renewable resources, the most important being metals. Once extracted from the earth, metal doesn’t grow back. In addition, if not properly handled, eWaste is toxic and pollutes, affecting communities in developing nations such as India and China where waste from developed nations are often exported.

What’s being done?

The UAE is making it easier to recycle e-waste. Thanks to an assisted UN project and an investment of about US$200 million, the UAE plans to install 8 recycling centers for e-waste across the nation. E-waste management is not just a tedious duty to save the environment but rather a profitable economic opportunity since metals can be extracted from discarded electronics, then reused and resold instead of newly mined.

The region is also coming together with a colossal investment in Masdar city and waste management companies such as Ecyclex. Masdar City’s annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week bring world leaders and businesses around sustainability. Splash, one of the region’s major department stores, is leading the initiative and collecting used items for reuse at their stores.

What can you do?

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. These are the 3 R’s of the environment. Let’s add one more, Resell.

Reduce consumption where possible and don’t buy things you don’t need. This will help your pocket as well. Another way to reduce consumption is to buy used or secondhand. If you have to buy something, make the responsible choice and buy secondhand where possible. Certain products like furniture are often discarded before their time. A family that is leaving Dubai generally doesn’t have the luxury of taking their furniture with them and storage is too costly.

Resell and reuse. Reusing something extends a product’s lifecycle and reduces the need to produce a replacement unit, thereby preserving the earth’s resources. Reselling stuff also aids the class of economic participants who cannot to afford to buy certain products new. Giving them access to high quality products at lower prices reduces the production of cheaper alternatives that get trashed far more quickly due to poor quality.

Finally, recycle. Many of the resources we need are trapped in products that are simply buried in landfills because they weren’t recycled. There are recycling bins all over the UAE, do your part.

Join the movement. Anything you do helps. A small group of environmentalists doing everything is not going to make a difference. We need everyone to do just one small thing and THAT will make a huge difference. Going green is not about doing everything, it’s about doing something. Help us make our planet and our economy more durable and more sustainable. Resell and reuse and make an impact on the planet today.

Why We Built A No-Meetup Classifieds In the Dubizzle Era

When we first launched Melltoo in 2014, we saw ourselves as classifieds on mobile. Everything was moving to mobile, except classifieds. Online classifieds were still just electronic notice boards. We saw the opportunity to bring classifieds into the post-smartphone era and to take advantage of hardware capabilities like geolocalization, instant messaging, and push notifications. The rise of social networks also brought about a paradigm-shift, every product became social, so why not social classifieds?

To be clear, we didn’t pick classifieds from a long list of industries needing disruption after, classifieds has always been in the blood of the founders. Morrad Irsane, co-founder and CEO of Melltoo grew up around buying and selling second-hand. While raising a family of 13 children in France, Morrad’s mother regularly re-used clothes and hand-me-downs were standard. During their annual summer break in Algeria, she had a thriving side business reselling clothing she collected from France.When Morrad invested his savings to launch Melltoo in 2014, he was reviving an old family tradition. Morrad envisioned a mobile app he could take with him anywhere, with a built-in chat so he would never miss a deal.

Finding ourselves

As with all first-time founders, we thought that we would build it and they would come. Launch an app and everyone would use it. We were wrong.

While we grew in our first year, it was a struggle. We had to get creative. We experimented with many different user acquisition models, content marketing, social media, app store optimization, SEO, spamming, even offline events. Name it, we’ve probably done it. In fact, our downloads were healthy with over 500 new users daily with almost no marketing spend.

But, there was no WOW moment. Users came, they tried, they left. Meh. “The app is cool, but…”

While our first iteration was not a huge success, it gave us plenty of opportunity to talk to our users and this is what we discovered.

User Objection 1: “I would like to use your app, but I don’t have anything to sell.”

When someone says this, it isn’t because he doesn’t have something to sell, it’s because he doesn’t want to sell his stuff. Search a bit more and you’ll discover that what he’s really saying is: “I don’t need the money so I don’t want the hassle of selling my stuff.” Yes, selling via traditional classifieds is a hassle. In some cases, it’s downright torture. The main problem is meetups. List something for sale, get a bunch of phone calls from strangers at all times of the day and night, get lowball offers and then take time out to meet with multiple buyers before one finally buys (or not). If you don’t need to, why would you?

User Objection 2: “I don’t trust buying second hand, there are too many scammers.”

Web classifieds are no-man’s land. Anything goes. List something for sale and get an offer from the wife of the ex-president of some unknown country on a continent halfway around the world. People ask you to ship them stuff cash on delivery. You get spammed. Who do you trust, who can you trust?

User Objection 3: “Your app is cool, but nobody is talking to me to buy my stuff.”

Lesson 1: Peruse the startup literature and it is littered with the idea that founders must be “obsessed with the product.” There is no doubt that a great product is important, but a great product that nobody uses is still a flop. It is much more useful to be obsessed with the customer.

Lesson 2: 2-sided marketplaces are among the most difficult businesses to build. You need buyers and sellers, but buyers don’t go where there are no sellers and sellers won’t go where there are no buyers. What do you do?

Armed with this knowledge, we began to realize that classifieds didn’t simply need to be moved from web to mobile and the problem wasn’t one of technology and UI/UX. The problem was that classifieds was broken. People have stopped trusting classifieds and hate the hassle involved. They use it only when necessary, which meant when selling a used car or home and large items that needed to be disposed of, such as furniture. Anything less was simply not worth it. And just like that, we saw an opportunity to re-imagine classifieds, no-meetup classifieds.

Ex-COO of OLX-Dubizzle MEA, joins Melltoo

2017-03-05 | Dubai, UAE

Ex-COO of OLX-Dubizzle MEA, Anvita Varshney, joins Melltoo’s board of advisors.

Morrad Irsame, co-founder and CEO, launched Melltoo, the no-meetup classifieds, in March 2014 in Dubai. According to Mr. Irsane, “Anvita brings us a vast amount of experience in classifieds, marketplaces, and ecommerce, having previously worked in the C-suite at Lazada and OLX-Dubizzle. We are thrilled to have her on board and look forward to working closely with her.”

Ms. Varshney, who also spends time advising leading corporates and VC’s in the region on digital business models, is currently a founding member at the Dubai Angel Investors group. She joined Melltoo because of the disruption Melltoo is bringing to the traditional classifieds model. “Melltoo is reinventing the classifieds space by bringing convenience and trust to customers with ease of shipping and payments, and enabling C2C cross-border trade which has a huge potential in the region”

Also joining the board are Loic Falletta and Sanjiv Purushotham. Mr. Falletta started hacking at the age of 13 and became a white hat hacker at the age of 20. He founded Yinkozi Ltd, an international cyber-security consultancy and a recognized security professional. In this capacity, he has worked on digital payments security for the top 30 largest banks in Canada, Europe and South Africa. Mr. Purushotham is a payments and lending expert with nearly three decades of senior level experience with American Express and MasterCard across AsiaPac, Middle East and Africa.

“Melltoo will be launching an exciting digital payments product that builds upon our existing marketplace. Loic and Sanjiv are digital payments experts and having them on board is critical to the success of Melltoo Pay,” says Mr. Irsane.

Mr. Falletta: “I believe that ensuring trust in digital payment will pave the route towards a cashless society. Melltoo has the potential to be its flag bearer in the Middle East and I’m excited to work with them on making it happen.”

Mr. Purushotham shares Mr. Falletta’s enthusiasm, explaining: “”Electronic peer2peer (P2P) payments have seen significant take-up across geographies as diverse as Kenya and Sweden. Melltoo Pay has an interesting model that engages customers in P2P transactions by providing them with a reason to do so.”

Melltoo, the no-meetup classifieds

Melltoo, a no-meetup classifieds, is a peer2peer marketplace for secondhand things. Users buy and sell preloved electronics, fashion, home and kids items through the app without meetups. Melltoo handles payment and delivery and provides a money-back guarantee on every item purchased through the app. The marketplace has over 100K+ registered users with over 25K+ completed transactions to date. Melltoo Pay is a peer2peer payments product that builds upon the existing marketplace infrastructure. Melltoo Pay is currently in beta and will launch to the public in Q2.                              

Press contact: Sharene Lee, sharene@melltoo.me, +971-50-237-4957.