Yasir Raises $150M for Mary Maker BOND-led Super App • TechCrunch

Yasir, Africa’s super app platform that offers on-demand services such as ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery and payments, has raised $150 million in Series B funding, five times its valuation last November.

The investment was led by BOND, a growth-stage firm launched by Mary Maker of Kleiner Perkins in 2018. Other investors in the growth round include DN Capital, Dorsal Capital, Quiet Capital, Stanford Alumni Ventures and Y Combinator through its Next Fund. Among other strategic investors.

The first African startup in Algeria has now raised $193.25 million since its launch in 2017. While the valuation is not disclosed, Yassir considers itself the most valuable startup in North Africa and one of the most valuable startups in Africa and the Middle East. , plans to expand in the coming months.

CEO Nuredin Taybi He launched Yassir, whose plan was to build a super app that would include services people – from the French-speaking Maghreb region comprising Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia – who had little access to a single platform. So far, the performance has been spot on. Not only does the company provide ride-hailing and food and grocery delivery services (by Yasir Express) in 45 cities across six countries, it also claims that three out of five on-demand operations are in Algeria, its first market. through the platform.

This calculated development brought Yasir closer to his overall plan to offer banking and payments. According to Taybi, providing on-demand food and transportation services is the entry point that allowed Yasir to gain the trust of consumers – which he says is one of the reasons why most Africans are unbanked.

For perspective: Morocco, one of Yassir’s main markets, has over 65% of the Moroccan population without a bank account, and according to a 2018 McKinsey report on the growth and innovation of retail banking in Africa, 57% of the continent’s population has none. Bank account. However, the report indicated that 40 percent of the African Bank population prefers digital channels for transacting business. Therefore, Yasir’s theory is that providing consumers with a mobile banking solution as a broad set of services meets the important needs of the African market, where 50% of the population has access to the Internet.

“Our business model from day one has been a very good model and getting into payments. When we first started, the observation was that most people were unbanked, and the main reason was that people didn’t trust the banking system for a variety of reasons,” the CEO told TechCrunch in an interview. We thought we could provide on-demand services that would be resolved. If we did it well, we secretly knew that we could have a large user base that would trust us, which made us feel the need to provide payment services.

Yasir, an all-in-one app ecosystem, provides its customers with a one-stop solution to manage their daily activities, from travel to work to grocery and food ordering. Financial Services serves this multifaceted marketplace ecosystem that includes 8 million users (up 2.5x from last year) and 100,000 partners including drivers, couriers, merchants, suppliers and wholesalers. Yasir is leveraging this network – which also includes a B2B e-commerce retail division that connects fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) suppliers with merchants – for payments through primary wallet provisioning and deploying drivers and couriers as cash agents.

Image Credits: Yasir

What is the supported platform for YC with elements of Uber, DoorDash, Udaan and PayPal? “First, we want to create a model for local tech startup success that others look up to and others look up to,” Taebi replied. “Secondly, we have local talent and, more importantly, technical talent which usually leaves the region to pursue further studies or find work, mainly in Europe,” added the CEO, who, after obtaining a Ph.D. . He spent 15 years in Silicon Valley at Stanford and in various companies, returning to Algeria in 2016 to participate in the country’s new technology scene.

Thus Yasir founded Taybi Mahdi TuThe startup said it intends to at least triple its size and invest heavily in its engineering and product teams. Yassir, which has offices in Algeria, Canada, France, Morocco and Tunisia, underlined how the funding will help it to strengthen its growth, expand new services in existing markets and expand directly into new geographies in Africa and the Middle East. or through purchases.

“Although we want to consider ourselves a leader in the Maghreb region, we are just scratching the surface, and there is still a lot of room to grow,” says Silicon-Valley-based Algerian entrepreneur Yassir, who is not confused. In some markets where Uber and Bolt duopoly plans to expand into the ride-hailing category. The confidence stems from Yasir’s dominance in key markets where Uber-subsidiary Careem has struggled.

Yasir is one of five Africa-focused startups to close a mega-round – meaning an investment round of more than $100 million – this year. The self-proclaimed most valuable North African startup has joined Flutterwave, Wasoko, Instadip and Sun King on the shortlist, which includes ten startups from last year. This reduced number is a stark example of how quickly markets change and ongoing global macroeconomic challenges as startups lay off staff, scale back estimates, or become fatigued. But startups in general have faced a tough fundraising environment this year, which Taibi says was not the case for Yasir.

“Although we did well in the first few years, we had a hard time raising money because of the region we were working in,” he said. “This pushed us to be more frugal and aware of unit economics, profitability and burn rate. And with market shifts, we can still show growth in higher unit economics. So fundraising was easy because we had grown so much that VC firms couldn’t ignore us.

Daegwon Cha, general partner at BOND, one of those VC firms, said the firm’s leadership investment in Yasir is focused on the feeling that technology will “reinvent” customers’ interactions with transportation, food and financial services. “This investment is an extension of that belief in an unpredictable but dynamic, fast-growing region. Apps emerging from North Africa are already essential to consumers in critical aspects of their lives,” he added.

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