9 Most Funded Ridesharing Startups in MENA 2022
The shared mobility market in the MENA region is expected to grow with a compound annual growth rate of 18.4% from 2022 to 2030, with annual demand expected to grow by 16.9%, according to Grand View Research Inc.
The shared mobility technology landscape, including carpoolingcar rental and taxi ordering models, has increased since global players such as Uber and Lyft swept the field.
We have compiled a list of the most funded ridesharing startups in the MENA region:
Total amount of funding: $771.7 million
Founders: Mudassir Sheikha and Magnus Olsson
Investors: Alpha Partners, Arzan Venture Capital, BECO Capital, Bild Alternative Investment, Coatue Management, and 22 others
Recognized as the first unicorn startup in the Middle East, Careem has transformed the ridesharing sector in the region, attracting global competition and acquisitions in the industry.
The company first started as a car booking app. It then entered the food delivery space and now works as a super app.
Founded in 2012, Careem is the second most funded startup in the region. It achieved unicorn status in 2018 and was later acquired by global ride-sharing giant Uber for $3.1 billion in 2020.
Total amount of funding: $264 million
Founders: Mostafa Kandil, Mahmoud Nouh and Ahmed Sabbah
Investors: BECO Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, MSA Capital, Oman Technology Fund, Arzan Venture Capital, Sawari Ventures, VNV Global and others
Headquarter): Founded in Egypt, based in the United Arab Emirates
Founded in 2017, Swvl is a transit technology solutions provider offering intercity, intracity, business-to-business and intergovernmental transportation services.
The company is another unicorn founded in the MENA region, also listed on Nasdaq.
Currently operating in 20 countries on four continents, Swvl went public after completing a merger with special purpose acquisition firm Queens Gambit Growth Capital and was valued at $1.5 billion in March 2022.
Total amount of funding: $146.4 million
Founders: Ahmed Mohsen, Mohamed Aboulnaga and Mounir Nakhla
Investors: Lorax Capital Partners, Disruptech Ventures, Bossanova Investimentos, Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), Endeavor Catalyst, CDC Group, Apis Partners, and others
Founded in 2017, Halan offers two- and three-wheeler rides and on-demand logistics. It allows customers to request motorcycle or tuk-tuk rides or order food or goods to be delivered via motorcycles or cargo tricycles. The app also targets businesses, offering smart last-mile delivery through integrated smart services using motorcycles and tricycles.
The startup also offers on-demand logistics solutions to support large organizations and small businesses in their distribution and supply chains. It also offers convenience and safety while providing additional activities for the driver. The app has partnered with fast food chains like McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut in Egypt.
Total amount of funding: $43 million
Founders: Noureddine Tayebi and El-Mahdi Yettou
Investors: Y Combinator, P1 Ventures, French Partners, ACE & Co., Venture Souq, WndrCo, DN Capital, Kismet Capital, Spike ventures, Quiet Capital, Endeavor Catalyst, FJ Labs, Venture Souq, Nellore Capital, Moving Capital and other investors
Founded in 2017, Yassir offers on-demand services such as carpooling and last mile delivery in 25 cities in Algeria, Canada, France, Morocco and Tunisia, with more than 3 million users.
The startup started as a ridesharing platform and later grew into a super app adding financial and last mile delivery services for its users.
The company raised $30m in Series A funding in June 2021 with the aim of expanding into West Africa and Europe in 2022.
Total amount of financing: $34 million
Founder: Vilhelm Hedberg
Investors: Polymath Venture, Audacia Capital, and others
Founded in 2016, ekar provides on-demand access to a car-sharing network, subscription-based leasing vehicles and other mobility options, including peer-to-peer rental.
Operating in seven cities with a fleet of 2,300 vehicles and 250,000 users in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the company is one of the first fully contactless car-sharing apps in the region.
The company raised $17.5m in Series B funding in 2019, announced its launch in Thailand in 2022 and plans to expand into Malaysia, Turkey and Egypt later this year.
Total amount of financing: $17.3 million
Founders: Nicholas Watson and Hasib Khan
Investors: Cultiv8 and Oman Holding International
Another car rental app, Udrive, offers a per-minute rental service for UAE residents and tourists, completing over 2 million trips.
Founded in 2016, the company allows users to pick up a car at any available location and then return it to any parking lot in the same city.
In its latest funding round, Udrive raised $5 million to support its plans to expand into the Middle East and improve its technology.
Total amount of financing: $5 million
Founders: Jaideep Dhanoa and IQ Sayed
Investors: Emkan Capital and Panthera Capital Ventures
Established in November 2020, Fenix offers a different kind of mobility using electric scooters on a subscription service.
Founded by two former Careem executives, the company has one of the largest electric vehicle fleets in the region as it operates in four cities.
In 2021, the company raised $5 million in seed funding to support its goals of becoming the first national micro-mobility operator in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Total amount of financing: $4.2 million
Founder: Abdulkader Almkinzy
Investors: 500 Startups, Saudi Venture Capital Co., Impact46, and others
Headquarter): Saudi Arabia
A car rental platform, Telgani allows users to rent a car through its mobile app which is then delivered to their doorstep.
Founded in 2018, the company also allows users to choose the car and location they want to drive to and offers nearby options.
In November 2021, Telgani secured $2.5 million in pre-Series A funding led by Saudi venture capital firm Impact46.
Total amount of funding: $3 million
Founder: Kayla Kroot
Investors: CEG Invest and Taurus Wealth
KOI Ride is a B2B transportation service startup that offers end-to-end ground transportation services and connects online booking portals with licensed transportation providers.
Founded in 2015, the company offers services in Dubai, London, New York, Las Vegas, Cancun, Istanbul, Bodrum, Antalya, Izmir and Dalaman.
In June 2022, KOI Ride raised $3 million in an investment round to support its expansion into 24 cities across Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.