Trukker, a UAE-based digital marketplace for land freight, has raised one of the largest initial rounds of capital for a start-up in the Middle East, reported Bloomberg.
The $23 million financing round is being led by STV, a $500 million Saudi technology venture capital fund that previously invested in UAE-based Careem, the ride-hailing company that was acquired by Uber for $3.1 billion in March 2019.
The fundraising would be the fourth-largest Series A on record for the Middle East—currently, the average venture investment in delivery and transport projects in the region is $2.9 million.
“We are already operating in U.A.E and Saudi and moving cargo all over the GCC, the Middle East and North Africa,” said Gaurav Biswas, Trukker Chief Executive Officer.
Trukker was founded in Abu Dhabi in 2016 and offers services such as cross-border cargo transportation and commercial moves. Pradeep Mallavarapu, Trukker’s Chief Technology Officer, said that the company also focuses on collecting data and developing technologies to build an infrastructure that allows the tracking of land freight.
In the Middle East, Trukker is competing with Dubai-based LoadMe, while Careem has also expanded into using pickup trucks for package deliveries.
Apps that hook up truck drivers with potential jobs have been led by Convoy and Uber Freight, with the latter outlining plans in September 2019 to hire 2,000 people in Chicago over the next three years and recently expanded into Europe.
Biswas said that increasing that reach to costumers and truck drivers all across this region is our top priority in terms of using our funds, adding that Trukker expects to expand into Egypt before year-end.