TruKKer, the digital freight platform announced that it has signed a $10M strategic venture debt agreement with San Francisco-based lending firm, Partners for Growth (PFG). The transaction marks the first venture-debt deal of this scale for a technology business in the Middle East, as well as the first deal for PFG in the region.
The debt will be used to finance the working capital needs required for the instant payment of thousands of transporters operating on TruKKer’s network. The deal follows a $23M equity raise by TruKKer in late 2019, with participation from STV, IFC, and Endeavor Catalyst, among other prominent regional and international investment funds.
Amit Agarwal, TruKKer’s Group CFO said, “We are disrupting a very fragmented industry, both operationally and commercially, by using advanced data science and technology tools. One of our essential capabilities is the ability to finance instant payments to the small transporters and owner-operators while offering standard credit terms for enterprise clients. We have a very diverse and high-quality client base with three years of consistent payment cycles. Having demonstrated performance and substantial growth, financing our expanding working capital needs with a structured debt facility was an obvious next step for us. We are very happy and proud to have a world-class institution like PFG on board.
“We are proud to be in a position to finance this very enterprising and hard-working group that currently faces unorganized processes and poor access to conventional financing products. TruKKer’s core business and technology offer key data-driven metrics that allow us to service their needs in a mutually beneficial way.”
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Jason Geogatos, PFG’s Managing Director said, “TruKKer offers a very interesting proposition for a debt fund to support a diverse and growing portfolio of debtors with a custom facility tailored to enable the company’s rapid expansion. We are very excited about working with the TruKKer team to provide capital to help them scale their impressive platform harnessing the trend of increasing technological adoption to deliver efficiencies across the massive freight industry across the Middle East.
“We will continue to work with TruKKer to support their rapid growth and hope to work with other emerging technology companies as we get familiar with the MENA markets, and build strong relationships in the region.”
The region has complex debt issuance and recourse laws, which makes such transactions challenging for high-growth tech companies like TruKKer.
The transaction is PFG’s first in the region and demonstrates the quickly maturing tech ecosystem in the Middle East, which is gaining attention with international funds. According to MAGNiTT, 2019 saw more international institutions invest in MENA-based startups than any previous year, accounting for 25% of investors. The trucking industry employs thousands of entrepreneurs as owner-operator drivers across the world, with the Middle East especially seeing a significant increase in digital freight.
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