ALGERIA – Yassir, an Algerian multi-sided marketplace offering on-demand services such as ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery, banking and more, has raised US$150 million in Series B funding from prominent global investors.
The investment was led by BOND, with participation from DN Capital, Dorsal Capital, Quiet Capital, Stanford Alumni Ventures (aka Spike Ventures) and Y Combinator, among other strategic investors.
The funding is five times what it raised in its previous rounds i.e., US$13.25 million seed round and US$30 million Series A round.
Having raised US$193.25 million in the five years since the company’s launch, it is now the most valuable startup in North Africa, and one of the highest-valued companies in Africa and the Middle East, where it plans to expand in the coming months.
“Yassir means ‘easy’ in Arabic, and our mission as a company is to make people’s lives easy. In the markets where we operate, we are already having a considerable impact on how people manage their day-to-day lives.
“We look forward to expanding our presence into other geographies to become the first super app to achieve mass adoption,” says Noureddine Tayebi, Founder and CEO of Yassir.
Founded in 2017, the company operates in six countries and 45 cities, where it is used by more than 8 million users.
Popular in the Maghreb region (Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia) and parts of French-speaking Africa, the super app provides three core services – ride-hailing, food and grocery delivery, and financial services.
An all-in-one ecosystem, the app provides its customers with a single-point solution for managing all of their day-to-day activities, from travelling to work to ordering groceries and meals.
These services generate revenues for more than 100,000 partners, which include drivers, couriers, merchants, and wholesalers, among other gig workers and vendors.
Beyond providing a core suite of services, Yassir offers financial services aimed at serving the full ecosystem, touching every component of the multi-sided marketplace.
A 2018 report by McKinsey & Company on growth and innovation in African retail banking, found that more than half (57%) of Africa’s population lack any form of a bank account. Among African banking customers, 40% prefer digital channels for transactions.
By providing consumers in Africa with a mobile banking solution, as part of a more comprehensive suite of services, Yassir is meeting an important need in the market, one where 50% of the population already have mobile internet access.
“We believe technology will foundationally rearchitect consumers’ relationship with daily needs – transportation, food, financial services – not just in developed countries, but in every corner of the world,” says Daegwon Chae, general partner at BOND.
“This investment is an extension of that belief in an underserved but dynamic, rapidly growing region. Emerging out of North Africa, the app has already become indispensable to users for critical aspects of their lives.”
Yassir is one of five Africa-focused startups to have closed a mega-round — that is, investment rounds greater than US$100 million — this year.
The self-described most valuable North African startup joins Flutterwave, Wasoko, Instadeep and Sun King on the shortlist, which as of last year included 10 startups, reports TechCrunch.
This reduced number is a stark example of how quickly markets change and reflects ongoing global macroeconomic challenges that have seen startups lay off employees, slash valuations or go bust.