Egypt’s Trella, the fastest growing digital freight marketplace announces the successful completion of a US$42 million funding round, comprising US$30 million new equity and US$12 million debt facilities.
The equity element was led by Maersk Growth – the corporate venture arm of global multinational A.P. Moller – Maersk, and Raed Ventures – a Saudi Arabian Venture Capital firm. Other participating investors include Algebra Ventures, Vision Ventures, Next Billion Ventures, Venture Souq, Foundation Ventures, and Flexport. The debt facilities are being provided by Lendable – the next-generation lending platform and other local financial institutions.
Trella is a technology platform ‘reinventing trucking’ across emerging markets, and has a current market presence in three countries; its home market – Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.
The MENAP Road Freight market is a significant one – worth US$50 billion. Proceeds will be used by Trella to invest in tech capacity and product development to fuel growth, accelerate the company’s journey to reducing the costs of moving goods and continue being the regional market leader.
Trella disrupts and reshapes the freight industry by connecting shippers directly to carriers, with significant positives for both. The platform solves industry challenges including shippers suffering unreliability, inefficiency via fragmented truck ownership, high price points, and low transparency.
Shippers can book directly and access a transparent pricing structure. Shipments can be tracked in real-time, and receive analytics on transportation performance. Improved load utilization also helps reduce cost. For truck drivers, Trella improves the efficiency as freight is moved intelligently – which boosts carriers’ earnings and creates job opportunities.
Trella has 350+ shipper partners including blue-chip brands such as Coca-Cola, Maersk, Mondi, Henkel, Orascom, and Cemex. It also has 15,000+ carrier partners.
Trella’s experienced management team is well-placed to scale the company across the MENAP region. Its four co-founders include CEO, Omar Hagrass, who formerly was part of Uber’s Expansion Team in the EMEA region; Chief Operating Officer, Ali El Atrash, also ex-Uber where he was a Regional Head for MEA’s Shared Rides Division; Chief Technology Officer, Pierre Saad – a software architect at Cairo-based start-up, Vezeeta and Muhammad El Garem- a former business development manager at OLX.
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Omar Hagrass, Chief Executive Officer of Trella, said: “This US$42 million funding round is a huge endorsement of Trella’s capabilities, business model, and market opportunity. We have a strong diversity of investors and we thank all participants for their support. It is great to have Maersk, as a shipper customer that uses Trella, invested in our future growth.”
Omar Almajdouie, Founding Partner of Raed VC, said: “Our unwavering belief in the founders coupled with the booming freight sector made the opportunity to lead Trella’s investment round very exciting. Trella’s product innovation has enabled them to grow significantly in the past year despite the tough operating environment. This is a testament to their resilient business model and strong team. We are excited to support the team in their growth journey.”
Jeppe Hoier, Partner at Maersk Growth, said: “We are currently experiencing a rapid development in trucking, as transportation of goods has become accessible to even the smallest companies due to new digital solutions. Trella’s platform is an excellent example of this democratization of the logistics sector. Trella is at the same time our first investment on the African continent founded by a team with significant experience from the start-up scene.”