Saudi Arabia’s roadside assistance app Morni to invest $10m in Egypt through Exits.me

Egyptian online investment marketplace will act as buy-side adviser to help Morni expand in the Arab world’s most populous country

Morni serves more than 1.2 million customers in Saudi Arabia. Photo: Morni
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Saudi Arabia-based roadside assistance platform Morni has signed a buy-side mandate with adviser Exits.me to expand to Egypt through investments worth $10 million until 2030.

Egyptian investment marketplace Exits.me helps start-ups and SMEs [small and medium enterprises] with mergers, acquisitions and funding on both the buyer and seller sides.

Morni offers towing and roadside assistance, as well as tyre, battery, fuel delivery and locksmith services, to individuals and businesses in Saudi Arabia.

Exits.me chief executive and co-founder Mohamed Aboulnaga and Morni founder and chief commercial officer Salman Al Suhaibaney finalised the agreement earlier this month, and plan to start expansion in the first quarter of 2023.

“We highly value Morni’s trust in us as their buy-side adviser in the region. We hope to create an impactful footprint for them by helping them implement their expansion strategy in the coming years, starting with Egypt,” Mr Aboulnaga said.

Mr Al Suhaibaney of Morni said that Exits.me fills a gap for companies looking to expand through mergers and acquisitions and other investment banking-related services.

“The investment scene in the region is going through turbulent times. Increasingly start-ups and SMEs are finding it more challenging to matchmake with potential investors, and start-ups don’t have the expertise to close the deal to the end,” he said.

“We highly believe in the untapped potential in the Egyptian market within the sector of vehicle roadside assistance and automotive services.”

The global vehicle roadside assistance market was valued at approximately $23.6 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach around $34.8 billion by 2030, according to US research company Custom Market Insights.

Start-ups in the Middle East and North Africa region looking to expand often set their eyes on Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, and Saudi Arabia, its largest economy.

Both countries have had booming start-up scenes, despite recent global economic challenges putting a slight damper on investments. They often rank in the top three in Mena funding, along with the UAE.

Egyptian start-ups have raised a total of $488 million in the first 10 months of this year and Saudi Arabian start-ups have raised $864 million, according to Dubai-based entrepreneurship platform Wamda.

Founded in 2015, Morni has raised at least $14.7 million, including a $5.6 million series A round in January 2019 and a $9.1 million series B round in December 2020.

Investors include Saudi Arabia’s Raed Ventures, GSquare Investments and Al Turairi, as well as San Francisco-based venture capital firm 500 Startups (now 500 Global), which recently opened an office in Cairo.

Mr Al Suhaibaney founded Morni after a flat tyre meant he had to wait six hours at night in Riyadh before he could find help.

Morni’s roadside assistance technology app uses a network of more than 33,000 service providers and has more than 1.2 million customers.

The start-up is also expanding its product offering to include an electronic auction platform, third-party administration of motor claims and the environmentally-friendly disposal of end-of-life vehicles.

“The opportunities within this sector are endless and highly under-serviced, especially within markets that have ageing vehicles and are prone to the need for roadside assistance,” said Morni chief executive Shehail Al Shehail.

“The Egyptian market will be a worthwhile new addition as we start multiple coming deals and will get us closer to our goal to cover 100 million vehicles with our products by 2030,” he said.

Exits.me founders Mohamed Aboulnaga, Ahella El Saban and Ayman El Tanbouly. Photo: Exits.me

Exits.me is a fairly new start-up; chief executive Mohamed Aboulnaga, chief commercial officer Ahella El Saban and chief information officer Ayman El Tanbouly founded the company earlier this year and raised $1 million in a pre-seed round in September.

It has a pipeline of more than 40 sell and buy-side advisory mandates from multiple markets — including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman — with a size of about $250 million.

“When we first started, we thought that max we’d get five or six mandates,” Ms El Saban told The National. “When we launched and we got the beta out, we were super, super surprised — and in a good way, of course — that there were so many mandates coming in to the point where we’re now saying, we’re sorry we’re not taking any more, we’re pushing everything to 2023.”

She said the challenging economic environment, due to the Russia-Ukraine war and other global geopolitical issues, has benefited Exits.me in some respects.

“The strain on start-ups is pushing a lot of them to have this need to get help when it comes to either selling or partially selling, and even getting help with their fund-raising,” she said.

Updated: December 06, 2022, 4:05 PM
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