Egyptian startup Trella is a digital platform that connects truck drivers with cargo. Its CEO said that the company has raised $42 million in equity and debt, including the venture capital arm of shipping company Maersk.
Founded in Cairo three years ago, Trella has operations in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. It is one of several technology companies in the world seeking to disrupt the traditional truck brokerage business.
Through Trella's online platform, shippers and truck drivers can directly book goods for transportation. The mobile app also provides shippers with the ability to track cargo loads during transportation.
Maersk Growth invested in truck brokerage technology start-ups in the United States and Australia, and co-led the $30 million equity component with Saudi Arabian investor Raed Ventures.
Trella said that part of the $12 million debt was provided by Lendable and other financial institutions, after he had only raised $1 million.
Hagrass, who among other Trella staff formerly worked for Uber, declined to disclose the company's new valuation but said he believed Trella was now one of Egypt's most valuable tech startups. Trukker, a similar tech logistics startup present in 10 Middle East countries including Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, raised $23 million in 2019.
Trella has over 350 shippers registered on the app, including beverage maker Coca-Cola and Maersk, and more than 15,000 mostly independent truck drivers, according to the company.
"They have the understanding of what you need to do to help the driver but also the pricing mechanism that is needed to make it work," Maersk Growth Partner Jeppe Hoier told finance.yahoo.com.
The $42 million would be used to expand in the Gulf Arab region beyond Saudi Arabia over the next 6-9 months and in East and West Africa over the next 12 months, Hagrass said.