Saudi Arabia-based startup focussing on delivery services, WeDeliver has raised $2.4 million, in what is said to be the biggest pre-seed funding round to date in the kingdom.
The company which launched last year raised new funds from Palestine telecoms group Paltel, the Mutasami family fund, Arcom Technologies and various angel investors from management consulting companies.
WeDeliver, which connects businesses with delivery needs to individual drivers will use the funding to expand its operations in various countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, founders of the startup said.
“Our business is meeting the region’s needs for quick deliveries which surged during the pandemic. Our asset-light collaborative model is likely to disrupt intra-city logistics, enabling faster, more efficient and low-cost delivery for businesses and online customers,” Mr. Ahmad Ramahi, WeDeliver’s chief executive and co-founder, said.
The startup uses technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to connect businesses that have parcels to be delivered with freelance drivers through a mobile app. It does not employ any drivers or own any warehouses.
With the WeDeliver mobile app, businesses can request a driver and have their package delivered anywhere in Saudi Arabia. It also offers all parties in the delivery process real-time tracking updates to keep up with the status and location of the items.
“Using crowdsourced freelance drivers, and under-utilized warehouses for storage and hubs that include easy-to-find locations such as fuel stations and local shops for collection and delivery, reduces delivery costs for the market,” WeDeliver said in a statement.
“With the new funds, we will improve the automation of our operations, in addition to building our own data warehouse. There is a huge demand for technology skills in the MENA region, at least 45 percent of our overall staff will be technology specialists by the end of 2021.”
WeDeliver has tripled its revenues in the past three months and achieved double-digit growth rates every month since its launch as businesses and individuals began to depend on delivery providers for everything from food orders to parcels, the company said.
“We are pleased to support economic growth in the region by providing a new type of delivery service that is low-priced, reliable, easy-to-order, with tech-driven tracking, verified drivers, transparent pricing and customer support,” Mr. Nasser Almaawi, chief commercial officer and co-founder of the company, said.
The startup, which oversubscribed its pre-seed round, is looking forward to collaborate with more strategic institutional and individual investors who can add value beyond capital and support its expansion plans.
Related: Dubai-based car-sharing app Udrive closes $5mn funding to accelerate expansion