Egypt-Based Startup Looks to Capture Small Business

Google dominates in current AI applications, from data collection to online marketing, with the advantage of having the most powerful and expansive search engine to wield. A startup in Egypt plans to give small businesses access to similar tools at a much lower cost with its AI engine.

Cognitev, created by entrepreneur Moustafa Mahmoud, plans to “democratize online marketing” with a suite of tools that challenges the status quo, according to a story by Sindhu Hariharan on

“When people think of search, the first name they think of is Google; when people think of online marketing, we want them to think of Cognitev,” says Mahmoud, founder and CEO, Cognitev.

The company’s main goal is to simplify marketing to online traffic to the point that a push of a button will do the job for a small business, according to Mahmoud. “We wanted online marketing to be available in an on-demand model, and we wanted to do for our industry what Uber did for transportation and Airbnb did for accommodation.”

Moustafa Mahmoud, founder & CEO of Cognitev.

The interest from large and medium-sized companies inspired Mahmoud to further enhance the application, which launched in 2015 and has grown since. Its current product, called InstaScaler, is an automated traffic platform that requires entering a company’s URL, a list of countries it wants to target, then the AI program analyzes the website, chooses the best channels and creates advertising. It also optimizes ads to direct focused, quality traffic to the website.

Charging customers per visit, Mahmoud emphasizes that a “visit” for Cognitev is a verified visit on the customer’s Google Analytics, and not an impression or a click. “I believe that this is a concrete unit of value that is transparent and measurable in terms of quality and conversion, customers can see it on their source of truth, their analytics tool. I see us sticking to this model for a while.”