The Dubai-based company Fetchr, an eCommerce and shipping application co-founded by Endeavor UAE Entrepreneur Idriss Al Rifai and Joy Ajlouny, announced this May it had raised $41 million in a Series B financing round led by New Enterprise Associates Inc. (NEA) to continue expanding globally and developing its proprietary technology. NEA also led Fetchr’s previous fundraising round in April 2015, joined by Endeavor Catalyst.
Fetchr makes shopping better by making shipping easier. Fetchr helps local merchants and global brands build, launch and grow profitable eCommerce businesses with an easy to use proprietary shipping and logistics solution. In doing so, Fetchr solves the problem of no physical addresses in emerging markets.
Fetchr’s innovative and technological edge in an antiquated industry comes at a time when e-commerce is growing in the MENA region and there has been a lot of focus on the delivery industry to enable the growth of e-commerce. The interest from regional investors including Majid Al Futtaim Holding, a leading regional group with a portfolio of companies including the largest malls, retail and leisure brands is a testament to the expected changes in the retail environment that Fetchr will continue to facilitate. Other investors in the round include Nokia Growth Partners, Raed Ventures, Iliad Partners, BECO Capital, YBA Kanoo, Venture Souq and Swicorp.
Fetchr tackles the “no address problem” in emerging markets, typically encountered by traditional companies delivering packages to customers. In a region where more than 80% of users have smartphones, Fetchr is tackling delivery challenges by going directly to customers’ phone and capturing the geo-location for package deliveries.
“More than two billion people live without an address. While these emerging markets represent the key for the growth of e-commerce in the next decade they are still being catered to with an antiquated address-based delivery software. This is both ineffective and incredibly frustrating for customers who think ‘mobile first’ throughout the region,” said Idriss Al Rifai, Founder & CEO at Fetchr.
With technology at the center of their business model, Fetchr’s vision is to address the shipping challenges across all emerging markets and make delivery as easy as shopping online. In August 2016, Fetchr launched its on-demand delivery service “NOW” that allows customers to receive door-to-door deliveries within an hour.
Fetchr is currently operational in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, with plans to expand its footprint in MENA and beyond. Fetchr is also partnering with governmental organizations like Oman Post, to deliver the technology-backed delivery solutions extending its technology through strategic partnerships.
Since joining the Endeavor network in 2015, Fetchr’s founding team have been active members of the network, receiving custom advisory services from a board of Endeavor mentors. In addition, Endeavor has connected the team with other entrepreneurs and a number of investors who will help them continue to grow their business model in this next phase.
Read Fetchr’s full press release here.