Algerian tech start-up Yasser, which means “simple” in Arabic, has raised $150 million in a funding round as the company looks to expand its operations and further strengthen its core technology.
The new investment round was led by Bond, with participation from other investors including DN Capital, Dorsal Capital, Quiet Capital, Stanford Alumni Ventures, Y Combinator and various strategic investors.
Founded in 2017, Yassir is a super app that offers its users a range of on-demand services.
The company operates in six countries and 45 cities, serving more than 8 million customers and more than 100,000 partners.
In November last year, the company raised $30 million.
“Our mission is to make people’s lives easier,” said Noureddine Tayebi, Founder and CEO of Yassir.
“In the markets where we operate, we already have a significant impact on how people go about their daily lives.
“We look forward to expanding our presence to other regions to become the first super app to achieve mass adoption.”
With nearly $193.3 million raised in the five years since the company was founded, Yassir is now the most valuable start-up in North Africa and one of the highest-valued companies in Africa and the Middle East, the company said on Monday.
Buy Yasser has not disclosed his exact rating.
Popular in the Maghreb region – Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia – and parts of French-speaking Africa, the super app offers three core services: ride hailing; Delivery of food and groceries; and financial services.
It enables its customers to manage various activities, from commuting to work to ordering groceries and meals, from one centralized solution.
These services generate revenue for more than 100,000 partners, including drivers, vendors, couriers, distributors and wholesalers, the company said.
“We believe that technology will fundamentally reshape how consumers relate to their daily needs — transportation, groceries, financial services — not just in developed countries but in every corner of the world,” said Daegwon Chae, General Partner at Bond.
“This investment is an extension of our belief in an underserved but dynamic, fast-growing region.
“Native to North Africa, the app has already become essential for users in critical aspects of their lives.”
Mega deals (US$100+ million) have driven much of the funding in the emerging venture markets.
Last year there were more than 10 mega deals, accounting for almost 44 percent of the total capital raised by startups in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan and Turkey, according to data platform Magnitt.
In March this year, Turkish fast-delivery company Getir completed a $768 million capital raise.
In September, Trukker, which provides an Uber-like digital network for trucks and pickups in the Mena region, raised $100 million in a new round of funding.
“We want to create a local success model for tech startups that others will emulate,” said Mr. Noureddine, an Algerian who spent more than 15 years in the US’s Silicon Valley before returning to build Yassir.
“We want to strengthen the local talents and especially the technical talents that often leave the region, mainly to Europe to continue studying or to find jobs.”
Updated November 7, 2022 at 7:47 p.m