Technology start-up Yassir raises $150m to fuel growth

Algerian company operates in six countries and 45 cities

Yassir offers three core services: ride-hailing; food and grocery delivery; and financial services. AFP
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Algerian technology start-up Yassir, which means "easy" in Arabic, raised $150 million in a funding round as the company aims to expand its operations and further strengthen its core technology.

The new investment round was led by Bond, with participation from other investors including DN Capital, Dorsal Capital, Quiet Capital, Stanford Alumni Ventures, Y Combinator and various strategic investors.

Founded in 2017, Yassir is a super app that provides its users with a suite of on-demand services..

It operates in six countries and 45 cities, where it serves more than 8 million customers and more than 100,000 partners.

In November last year, the company raised $30m.

“Our mission is to make people’s lives easy,” said Noureddine Tayebi, founder and chief executive of Yassir.

“In the markets where we operate, we are already having a considerable impact on how people manage their day-to-day lives.

"We look forward to expanding our presence into other geographies to become the first super app to achieve mass adoption."

Having raised nearly $193.3m in the five years since the company’s launch, Yassir is now the most valuable start-up in North Africa, and one of the highest valued companies in Africa and the Middle East, the company said on Monday.

Buy Yassir did not disclose its exact valuation.

Popular in the Maghreb region — Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia — and parts of French-speaking Africa, the super app provides three core services: ride hailing; food and grocery delivery; and financial services.

It lets its customers manage various activities, from travelling to work to ordering groceries and meals, through a single point solution.

These services generate revenues for more than 100,000 partners, which include drivers, vendors, couriers, merchants and wholesalers, the company said.

“We believe technology will foundationally rearchitect consumers’ relationship with daily needs — transportation, food, financial services — not just in developed countries but in every corner of the world,” said Daegwon Chae, general partner at Bond.

“This investment is an extension of that belief in an underserved but dynamic, rapidly growing region.

"Emerging out of North Africa, the app has already become indispensable to users for critical aspects of their lives.”

Mega deals (more than $100m) have been driving a major part of the funding across the emerging venture markets.

Last year, there were more than 10 mega deals that accounted for nearly 44 per cent of the total capital raised by start-ups in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan and Turkey region, data platform Magnitt says.

In March this year, Turkish fast delivery company Getir closed a fund-raising of $768m.

In September, Trukker, which provides an Uber-like digital network for lorries and pick-up trucks in the Mena region, raised $100m in a new funding round.

“We want to create a local tech start-up success model which will be emulated by others," said Mr Noureddine, an Algerian who spent more than 15 years in Silicon Valley in the US before returning to build Yassir.

"We want to empower the local talent and more importantly the technical talent which often leaves the region, mainly to Europe, to pursue further studies or find jobs.”

Updated: November 07, 2022, 7:47 PM