Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 25 January 2020

Dubai-based start-up Fetchr agrees to as much as $25m in financing

Courier app has already raised up to $10m in funding

Fetchr allows users to use GPS co-ordinates to arrange for pick-up and drop-off of goods. Reem Mohammed / The National
Fetchr allows users to use GPS co-ordinates to arrange for pick-up and drop-off of goods. Reem Mohammed / The National

Dubai-based start-up Fetchr has agreed to as much as $25 million (Dh91.8m) in additional funding after it raised up to $10m from new and existing investors as part of a turnaround plan, a company spokesperson said.

The term sheets for the additional funds have been signed, a source familiar with the matter told The National on Wednesday.

The majority of Fetchr's shareholders have approved a new financial and board structure, the company spokesperson said.

The comments come after Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that Fetchr raised the $10m in emergency funding to help avoid collapse, citing people with knowledge of the matter. The company last month warned investors that its “financial performance has been rapidly diminishing over the past twelve months” and it had considered a sale of the business or filing for bankruptcy, according to a letter to investors seen by Bloomberg.

The courier app, which was founded in 2012, was valued at about $300m in its last fund-raising round in 2017. Its backers include Silicon Valley venture capitalists New Enterprise Associates (Nea) and Dubai-based mall operator Majid Al Futtaim (MAF).

The company's rescue includes investment from businessmen such as former Majid Al Futtaim chief executive Iyad Malas and the former chief executive of logistics firm Aramex, Hussein Hachem, the Fetchr spokesman confirmed.

Fetchr ships to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman and Egypt.

The company, founded by chief executive Idriss Al Rifai and Joy Ajlouny, sought to bridge a gap in the UAE market, where delivery services often fall short at the end of the logistics chain. Using a model not too dissimilar to ride-hailing apps such as Uber, Fetchr looks at linking customers in areas with no clearly- defined building numbers or street names, matching couriers with exact pickup and drop-off points.

The company employs 3,400 people across more than 200 cities, and has eight offices.

The UAE has made significant headway as a key regional incubator for start-ups, following the success of ride-hailing app Careem and online retailer Souq.com, which was sold to Amazon for $580 million in 2017.

Updated: December 4, 2019 07:43 PM

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