This investment marks the largest U.S. Series A investment in a Middle Eastern startup to date.
Dubai, UAE – Fetchr announced the launch of its app on June 9, 2015 and the close of $10 million in Series A funding, led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). This landmark round represents the largest investment of U.S. based venture funds in the Middle East for a Series A. It speaks to the high levels of interest and excitement surrounding the region’s growing entrepreneurial ecosystem, as well as the vast potential of Fetchr’s platform.
Fetchr’s app takes all the hassle and inconvenience out of package delivery in a region of the world where there are no addresses. The app uses proprietary technology to schedule package pick-up and delivery using your mobile phone GPS coordinates as your address. Customers that need to send a package simply snap a photo of the item they need to send, select a pickup time, and receive an alert when their driver is approaching. They will then receive an alert once the delivery has been received. On the recipient side, customers are notified that they have a delivery, choose their delivery time, and the package is brought right to their phone location. Sending and receiving packages has never been easier. This investment will enable Fetchr to launch the mobile application today in the Appstore and Google Play, as well as fuel product development.
“Consumers use their phones to shop for just about everything,” says Fetchr’s co-founder, Idriss Al Rifai. “With our app, you can now use your phone to ship anything, anywhere. We aim to change the behavior in which people send and receive packages. We are thrilled that NEA shares our vision for overcoming the major logistical challenges that exist for deliveries in emerging markets, as well as ushering in a new era for shipping and ecommerce. This investment is a big step forward for the Arab startup community.”
Billions of people around the world do not have fixed street addresses. This poses a major challenge for deliveries in the Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, India, Indonesia and other emerging markets. It prevents consumers from ordering items online, businesses from growing their revenue via ecommerce, and people from sending packages to each other. Organizing pickups and deliveries still requires multiple phone calls, and shipping businesses are still relying on paper and pen. While ecommerce is growing at explosive rates around the world, it will never reach its full potential until the “no street address” problem is cracked.
“Last mile delivery is one of the greatest reason why ecommerce has not reached its full potential in the Middle East; our mission is to empower delivery through technology, we want shipping to be as delightful as shopping!” said Fetchr’s co-founder Joy Ajlouny.
Fetchr overcomes these logistical hurdles by delivering packages using your mobile phone as your point of contact address, similar to the way Uber sends a car to your exact location. No more headaches, annoying phones calls, scheduling, or missed deliveries.
This groundbreaking shipping and logistics solution helps local merchants and global brands build, launch, and grow profitable ecommerce businesses. Fetchr is significantly faster than competitors, with 97 percent of packages delivered same day or overnight, and a return process that picks up within 30 minutes. It is also cheaper than the competition, since its sophisticated technology enables Fetchr to operate more efficiently and with lower operating expenses than its competitors. Fetchr’s system connects the dots between customer, package, driver, and sender to create an overall seamless experience.
Fetchr was founded by CEO, Idriss Alrifai, an entrepreneur who is passionate about disrupting the Middle East retail market with technology and customer-centric services that enable the growth of ecommerce in the region. Prior to launching Fetchr, Idriss worked for MarkaVIP and the Boston Consulting Group, one of the world’s leading consulting firms in the Middle East. Co-founder Joy Ajlouny is a serial entrepreneur whose first startup in Silicon Valley, BONFAIRE, was acquired by Moda Operandi. She has a wealth of expertise in ecommerce, retail, and fashion. While only 2.7% of venture capital funds have been raised by women, Joy has successfully raised funds for two companies from some of the most prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firms — an extraordinary achievement for a female entrepreneur. In addition to NEA, Fetchr is also backed by Delta Partners, Dhabi Holdings, Roland Berger, and 500 Startups.
The Fetchr app eliminates the hassle from sending and receiving packages by using your phone as your physical address, thus solving the problem of no addresses in the Middle East. With just a snap and a swipe, drivers arrive to a customer’s exact location via the phone, at a chosen time, to pick up a package and deliver it into the hands of their recipient — whenever and wherever they need it. Fetchr’s sophisticated logistics technology connects the dots between customer, package, driver and sender to provide faster, cheaper, seamless deliveries. Fetchr is based in Dubai and successfully raised the largest investment of US based venture funds in the Middle East for series A.