Egyptian trucking marketplace Trella raises $600k in pre-seed round

Featured image, left to right: Trella head of operations Muhammed El Garem, CEO and co-founder Omar Hagrass, CTO and co-founder Pierre Saad (Supplied)

Cairo-based trucking marketplace Trella has raised $600 000 in a pre-seed round led by Egyptian venture capital (VC) firm Algebra Ventures.

In a statement yesterday (24 February) announcing the investment, Algebra Ventures said other investors including Esther Dyson and Jambu Palaniappan also participated in the round.

Trella was founded last year by CEO and former Uber executive Omar Hagrass (pictured above, centre) and CTO Pierre Saad (pictured above, right).

Trella was founded last year by CEO Omar Hagrass and CTO Pierre Saad

The startup claims its platform — which connects shippers with carriers — reduces costs for shippers by improving load utilisation and efficiency, all while offering transparent pricing schedules and enabling shipment tracking in real time.

Commenting in the same statement, Hagrass said Trella — inspired by the success of ride-hailing startups — had built a similar solution for the region’s freight industry to “improve efficiency throughout the supply chain”.

“The interest in our solution has been overwhelming, both from businesses who want to use our technology, and from truckers who are getting significantly more value and more consistent flow of business through our platform. We’re optimising truckers’ routes so they’re no longer driving empty,” he explained.

Hagrass also told Ventureburn today (25 February) that the startup — which currently has “north of 1000” carriers registered on its platform — will use the investment for capacity acquisition, carrier educations and expansion of its product portfolio.

Algebra Ventures managing partner Karim Hussein said the VC was “thrilled” to be leading the round, adding that Trella is a “superstar team with proven execution ability”.

“The large and highly fragmented freight market in Egypt is ripe for technological disruption. We are excited to be joined by a group of capable and experienced co-investors who will help accelerate Trella’s growth in the short run and support it in subsequent financings,” said Hussein.

Featured image, left to right: Trella head of operations Muhammed El Garem, CEO and co-founder Omar Hagrass, CTO and co-founder Pierre Saad (Supplied)

Editor’s note (25 February 2018): The article has been updated to reflect CEO Omar Hagrass’s comments on what Trella intends to use the investment for.

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