Dubai-based logistics startup Fetchr has today confirmed receiving $15 million in fresh capital as part of its Series C round in a statement to MENAbytes. The development was first reported by Bloomberg in July but at the time the company had received commitments and had not shared any details officially. The investment still needed the approval of Fetchr’s shareholders.
Today’s statement by Fetchr said that the funding was approved at its Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) on 20th August 2020. It also said that it is confident of raising another $10 million before the end of the year.
The money came from company’s early investor Beco Capital, Saudi-based Tamer Group, and French shipping company CMA CGM and its logistics arm CEVA Logistics. Fetchr said that these investors are committed to supporting the company over the long term.
Tamer Group had fist invested in Fetchr in 2018 and CMA CGM joined in early 2019.
“This financing success with renewed investor confidence comes on the back of a significant technology, leadership and strategy overhaul that has seen operations streamlined and the adoption of a new direction that will culminate in a complete re-brand by the end of the year,” said Fetchr in a statement.
With the confirmation of the investment, Fetchr today has apparently also launched its new website and logo as well.
Fetchr that was once one of the best-funded startups in the region was on the verge of collapse late last year and was saved by $10 million of bridge emergency financing. The financing was secured by a transformation team that was brought to change things around. It includes Aramex’s former CEO Hussein Hachem, Majid Al Futtaim’s former CEO Iyad Malas, Dubai-based finance advisory firm Gate Capital’s founder Munther Hilal, and Mazen Mamlouk, the former CEO of Falcon Aviation who was appointed as Interim CEO of Fetchr.
The transformation team, according to the statement, in addition to securing the $10 million financing also appointed a new management team with former UPS and Aramex Managing Director Hussein Wehbe as the new CEO.
The statement by Fetchr noted that the transformation team closed its non-performing country offices, improves efficiencies and reduced costs. It also said that the team improved technology platform and increased automated scheduling through AI, WhatsApp and other channels. Its new Performance Predictor System, a machine learning model, accurately predicts the delivery of an order based on over 2,500 data points.
Fetchr said that it has improved its EBIDTA by 77 percent (without sharing further details about it) and plans to reach break-even EBIDTA by the ‘latter part’ of 2020.
“Investors see value in its revenue diversification strategy for different product lines. In addition, growth plans for taking the company global and reach China, the US, UK and EU region, are expected to improve financial results and valuation. The company is also exploring strategic partnerships with global service providers and large retailers and is implementing a unique asset-light business model for accelerated growth,” noted the statement.
Fetchr’s Interim CEO Mazen Mamlouk, said, “I’m pleased to note that the work done by Fetchr’s transformation team has placed it in a great position to take advantage of new opportunities as well as to meet new challenges. It took a lot of hard work and tough decisions, as we optimised operations, diversified revenue streams, reduced costs and charted a clear path to profitability to bring about the turnaround in the company’s prospects.”
“We are now looking at a much more nimble and agile operation that is geared up to challenge for industry leadership. We will remain engaged to support the company in a more strategic and consultative role as we proceed with our US, China, EU and UK expansions,” he added.
Hussein Wehbe, new CEO of Fetchr, said “Retail, ecommerce and individual customers can expect to see a competitively efficient and speedy operation that translates into lower costs and higher-end consumer happiness. We have developed a great product mix for B2C, B2B and C2C clients and differentiate from traditional logistics companies by offering flexible cash solutions among other incentives.”
“The positive impact brought about by Fetchr’s AI implementation and technology overhaul has also been matched by the recruitment of solid managerial talent that will take it towards a better future. We look forward to announcing new strategic partnerships with global service providers and large retailers, unveil our re-branding initiatives and to solidify our corporate culture by the end of this year,” he added.
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