Transformative Transport: The startups headlining the industry’s growth

MAGNiTT's 2019 MENA Delivery & Transport Venture Report found that $121M was invested in 45 investment deals in the industry last year, and whereas industries such as Fintech and Healthcare have seen significant international interest, Delivery & Transport remains largely in the interest of regional investors. Contrarily, in 2020 so far, we have witnessed 27 deals in the MENA and emerging markets ecosystem, highlighting a noticeable drop, potentially attributed to the fallout of the pandemic. However, has COVID-19 and the abrupt acceleration of digital transformation and E-commerce actually altered this and put a new focus on the industry?

Uber's acquisition of Careem for $3.1B was one of MENA's landmark acquisitions in the last decade. It's fair to assume that such an event has had a massive effect on the industry overall and the way in which it is perceived. Yet, a year later, with the onset of COVID-19 and a massive reduction in demand for Transport services, this could serve as an opportunity to introduce new ideas and accelerate modern technologies that under other circumstances would have taken longer to implement, such as AI, drones, and transforming logistics. Such changes may be needed to ensure the continuity of the industry.

Yet, despite the climate, more and more consumers were forced (or encouraged) to make a change to their level of comfortability and user behaviour by turning heavily to online digital purchases. By doing so, they were able to continue leading convenient and non-disrupted lives, with the ease and accessibility of delivery options, resulting in a need for E-commerce Delivery and Transport startups. 

Find out what Transport startups raised funding during this period and are helping the industry to thrive.

Discover more than 550 Transport startups on MAGNiTT

Meet the 5 recently funded Transport startups in the MENA and emerging markets ecosystem (the companies listed are based on disclosed amounts and investors)

1. IntiGo

Founded by Bassem Bouguerra and Nebil Jridet, IntiGo is a Tunisian startup that allows users to book bike rides that are 20 - 30% cheaper than a regular taxi. The bikes are owned by the startup, but the drivers rent the scooters from IntiGo and pay 20% commission on every ride. 

The startup raised a $1M Seed round in July 2020. 

2. Airlift

Airlift Technologies is a Pakistan-based startup, on a mission to build the world’s first decentralized mass transit system; one that is built by local transporters for local populations. They aim to solve the pain of commuting and making a positive impact on the lives of people. Earlier in the year, they launched Airlift Grocer to enable customers to purchase groceries within the safety of their homes and get products delivered in 45 minutes. 

They also secured a $22M Series A round back in June.

3. Invygo

Invygo is a Dubai-based car subscription app that enables customers to interact with automobile dealers in a new way to shop, get approved, and pay for a car – all through a mobile app. Invygo aspires to be the hub for the evolution of ownership for every wanderer exploring and discovering throughout their journey.

Invygo secured a $1M Pre-Series A round in May of 2020. 

4. Swvl

Swvl is a tech startup that enables riders heading in the same direction to share fixed-route bus trips for a flat fare with no surge pricing. The service is up to 70% cheaper than competing on-demand ride-hailing.

Similarly, in May 2020, they closed a $26M Bridge round.

5. Wee / Tasaira

Wee aims to provide smarter and a sustainable way of transport that’s within anyone’s reach. The KSA-based startup believes that well-developed cities and fast-growing communities are constantly in need of convenient and accessible mobility without sacrificing a greener and cleaner environment. Wee is committed to connecting more people, bringing places together, and helping to build a better and cleaner urban living.

Tasaira is an online platform aggregating automotive garages for repair and maintenance services. The platform allows the owner to request a quote by uploading pictures of the car from different angles to get the pricing of the repair service. 

Both Wee and Tasaira secured their Pre-Seed rounds in May 2020.

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