AlgoDriven, a Dubai start-up that provides technology solutions to the automotive industry, raised $2 million in a Series A funding round that will help to expand the company’s reach in new regions and boost penetration in existing markets.
Investors from the UAE and overseas participated in the round, which was led by Dubai venture capital group Global Ventures. AlgoDriven, which operates in the Middle East and North Africa and Australia, will also use the proceeds to continue building its enterprise product line for banks, insurance, classifieds and inspection companies.
"We have seen strong growth in demand for our automotive data and software over the last few years, both regionally and in the international markets we operate in," Glenn Harwood, co-founder of AlgoDriven, said in a statement on Thursday. "As trends such as e-commerce and new ownership models continue to transform the automotive industry, we expect demand for our vehicle data, pricing and appraisal software to continue to increase."
AlgoDriven, which helps car dealerships, and finance and insurance companies accurately identify and appraise vehicles, previously had four funding rounds, the biggest of which was $625,000 in 2019. The start-up's mobile apps are also used by car dealers to help them trade more vehicles.
Start-up investments are enjoying a revival after the pandemic-induced slowdown over the past year. Mena start-ups raised $1.2 billion in the first half of 2021, up 64 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, according to data platform Magnitt. The UAE led in terms of deal numbers, securing 61 per cent of all investments.
Start-up activity in the UAE is being supported by several new initiatives. These include the launch of Kube Ventures, which focuses on the UAE's hospitality and tourism sector, and a partnership between innovation platform Plug and Play Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Investment Office to launch an innovation platform for start-ups, according to Dtec Ventures' September report.
Other investors in AlgoDriven's latest funding round include Abu Dhabi's Spartech Ventures, Dubai's Dtec Ventures, the Oman Technology Fund's Wadi Accelerator, and US-based Driven Capital Partners and Automotive Ventures. AlgoDriven is Automotive Venture's first international investment.
AlgoDriven was co-founded by Mr Harwood and Jaron Crossland in 2017 and graduated from the first cohort of the OTF's Wadi Accelerator programme the following year. In 2019, it graduated from the 500 Start-ups Mena Dojo Series A Accelerator.