A milestone moment for the Iraqi VC space as the first Super App Baly raises an unprecedented $10.5M to pioneer a consolidated transport & delivery proposition in a market ripe for Tech disruption.
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Iraq’s first Super App Baly raises a historic $10.5M in its latest funding round. The unprecedented SEED round observed participation from Kingsway Capital, MSA Capital, Global Founders Capital, Vostok Ventures, Majid Al Futtaim, and March Holding. The amount and caliber of participating investors signal strong confidence in the team and model in this nascent market. Baly launched ride-hailing as its first service in Baghdad last month, and already boasts thousands of rides each day. In the next few weeks, additional services, like food and grocery delivery, will go live and Baly will expand to cover more cities in the country.
While we launch our State of Startup Funding- 2022 Emerging Venture Markets report, watching out for the Venture space is still ripe markets like Iraq has been an exciting endeavor. While the region is challenged by the many political and socio-economic hurdles, Venture Space in Iraq observed a new record-high in funding over 2021. Recording a 170% YoY growth in VC funding, the Iraqi venture space was able to cross the $5M mark over 5 deals in 2021. This being said, it is much-needed sectors like Transport & Logistics that have been championing the rise of this venture space and paving the way for local and regional investments in a rather risky and opaque market. That being said, in light of this recent investment, we highlight last year’s funding rounds closed by delivery and last-mile services group Alsaree3 as well as last-mile delivery startup Hi-express along with two rounds closed by construction startup KESK and online retail marketplace Miswag. While this latest funding round welcomed new investors to this venture space, it is a capitalization on the momentum built by initial investors in Iraq-based Tech disruptions including Iraq Tech Ventures, Euphrates Iraq Fund, Innovest, and the Iraqi Angel Investor Network.
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The Iraq-based Super App is amongst the first-movers in the delivery and transportation space with a consolidated market proposition. It takes hyperlocalized networks and a seamless fleet-management system to set up a complex operation on multiple fronts. The latest investment is not only positioned as a much-needed capital boost for the Iraq-based venture to start scaling its operations, but it is also a market validator for their proposition. Managing Director Matteo Mantovani highlighted: “Iraq is home to 40 million people, with over 90% smartphone penetration amongst those aged 17-40. With a young, urbanized population, it is the perfect place to revolutionize the economy through digital services."
Baly which rolled out its first ride-hailing service only last month will now become a pioneer in the Iraqi T&L space in specific, and the Iraqi venture ecosystem in general. The startup will be able to use these funds to support its scaling efforts in operations and market growth. Considering the weight of a milestone moment like this one, it is safe to start expecting more players and competition emerging in this venture space and most importantly, more international investors looking for stakes in this highly ripe market. Arnd Lodowicks, CFO of Rocket Internet, concluded, “Baly is for us a world-class team in an extremely exciting and promising market. We are looking forward to supporting the company on its mission to become the leading super app of Iraq.”
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