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Cairo-based Trella, the fastest growing digital freight marketplace in MENAP, announced the successful completion of a $42-million funding round this week. This round comprises $30-million new equity and $12-million debt facilities.
The equity element of the round was brought to the table by Maersk Growth – the corporate venture arm of global multinational A.P. Moller. Maersk, and Raed Ventures, a Saudi Arabian Venture Capital firm partnered to lead the equity round. Other participating investors include Algebra Ventures, Vision Ventures, Next Billion Ventures, Venture Souq, Foundation Ventures and Flexport.
Technology platform ‘reinventing trucking’ set for major MENAP region expansion
Debt facilities are being provided by Lendable, a next-generation lending platform, and other Egyptian financial institutions.
The Trella trucking marketplace
Trella has reinvented trucking and logistics in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan through its digital platform. The platform has disrupted and reshaped the freight industry by connecting shippers directly to carriers, with significant positives for both. The platform solves industry challenges including shippers suffering unreliability, inefficiency via fragmented truck ownership, high price points and low transparency.
Shippers can book directly and access a transparent pricing structure. Shipments can be tracked in real-time, and receive analytics on transportation performance. Improved load utilisation also helps reduce cost. Trella improves efficiency for truckers as freight is moved intelligently, boosting carriers’ earnings and creates job opportunities.
The MENAP Road Freight market is worth $50 billion. Proceeds will be used by Trella to invest in tech capacity and product development to fuel growth, accelerate the company’s journey to reducing the costs of moving goods and continue its role as the regional market leader.
Jeppe Hoier, Partner at Maersk Growth, said, “We are currently experiencing a rapid development in trucking, as transportation of goods has become accessible to even the smallest companies due to new digital solutions. Trella’s platform is an excellent example of this democratization of the logistics sector. Trella is at the same time our first investment on the African continent founded by a team with significant experience from the startup scene.”
Trella’s experienced management team is well-placed to scale the company across the MENAP region. Its four co-founders include CEO, Omar Hagrass, who formerly was part of Uber’s Expansion Team in the EMEA region; Chief Operating Officer, Ali El Atrash, Chief Technology Officer Pierre Saad and Muhammad El Garem, former business development manager at OLX.
CEO Omar Hagrass comments on the company’s recent success. “This $42-million funding round is a huge endorsement of Trella’s capabilities, business model and market opportunity. We have a strong diversity of investors and we thank all participants for their support. It is great to have Maersk, as a shipper customer that uses Trella, invested in our future growth. The MENAP freight market is a significant one and urgently needs the transparency, reliability and efficiency that Trella and its technology platform provides. We are trusted and used by some of the world’s most recognisable brands, and look forward to working with our partners to scale across MENAP.”
Omar Almajdouie, founding partner of Raed VC said, “Our unwavering belief in the founders coupled with the booming freight sector made the opportunity to lead Trella’s investment round very exciting. Trella’s product innovation has enabled them to grow significantly in the past year despite the tough operating environment. This is a testament to their resilient business model and strong team. We are excited to support the team in their growth journey.”
Featured image: Gabriel Santos via Unsplash