Dubai-based Fetchr, an app-based shipping startup, has raised $41 million in a Series B financing round led by New Enterprise Associates Inc (NEA), it announced May 16.
Nokia Growth Partners, Raed Ventures, Iliad Partners, BECO Capital, YBA Kanoo, Venture Souq and Swicorp also participated in the funding round.
Fetchr, which was founded in 2012 by Idriss Al Rifai and Joy Ajlouny, tackles the ‘no address problem’ in emerging markets encountered by traditional companies delivering packages to customers.
In a region where more than 80% of users have smartphones, Fetchr uses the GPS technology from mobile phones to allow almost pin-point accurate deliveries to customers from local retailers and e-commerce firms as well as from other individual customers aka peer-to-peer packages.
In August 2016, it launched its on-demand delivery service NOW that allows customers to receive door-to-door deliveries within an hour.
Fetchr is currently operational in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Bahrain, with plans to expand its footprint across MENA and beyond. It is also partnering with governmental organizations like Oman Post to deliver technology-backed delivery solutions.
“While these emerging markets represent the key for the growth of e-commerce in the next decade, they are still being catered to with an antiquated address-based delivery software,” said Idriss Al Rifai, founder and CEO at fetchr.
This is ineffective and frustrating for customers who think ‘mobile first’ throughout the region, Rifai added.
“Fetchr has demonstrated impressive growth since our initial investment in 2015,” said Scott Sandell, managing general partner at NEA, explaining the investment.
In June 2015, NEA has invested $11 million in Fetchr under a Series A round.