First Silicon Valley funded app in MENA does away with directions to provide intuitive shipping and logistics solution
UAE based Fetchr announced today the launch of their app that gives both the community and businesses the ability to send or receive anything, anywhere, using just your phone’s GPS co-ordinates, entirely doing away with elaborate directions and complicated address systems.
Fetchr’s proprietary technology offers an intuitive solution to parcel pickup and drop in a region where address systems can be difficult to navigate. It uses a patented technology to schedule pickup and delivery using mobile phone GPS coordinates. The app complements Dubai’s recently launched Geo Address System, and enables peer to peer transactions while also facilitating business needs.
Customers wanting to send a package simply use their phone to snap a picture of the item and choose a pickup time of their convenience. A driver is dispatched at the scheduled time to the phone’s location, and can be tracked in real time.
Fetchr’s incredible potential comes from elegantly solving a genuine global concern. Billions of people around the world do not have fixed street addresses. This poses a major challenge for deliveries in the Middle East & North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, India, Indonesia and other emerging markets. On the other hand, high levels of smartphone penetration regionwide secure Fetchr a large audience. 94 percent of MENA Internet users go online using smartphones at least once a month.
The process is equally intuitive on the recipient side. Customers are notified that they have a delivery via the app. They choose a delivery time, and the package is brought right to their GPS location. Once the parcel is safely delivered, the sender receives a notification.
“Consumers use their phones to shop for just about everything,” says Fetchr’s co-founder, Idriss Al Rifai. “With our app, you can now use your phone to ship anything, anywhere. We aim to change the behaviour in which people send and receive packages.”
Fetchr is a first of its kind app for the Middle East region, and also the first Silicon Valley funded app to be launched in MENA. Fetchr has successfully raised USD 11 million in Series A funding, led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), the largest venture fund in the world. The milestone represents the largest US based venture funds investment in the Middle East for a Series A round.
Fetchr was founded by CEO, Idriss Alrifai, an entrepreneur who is passionate about disrupting the Middle East retail market with technology and customer-centric services that enable the growth of e-commerce in the region. Co-founder, Joy Ajlouny is a serial entrepreneur whose first startup in Silicon Valley, BONFAIRE was acquired by Moda Operandi. She has a wealth of expertise in ecommerce, retail, and fashion. While only 2.7% of venture capital funds have been raised by women, Joy has successfully raised funds for two companies from some of the most prestigious Silicon Valley venture capital firms which is an extraordinary achievement for a female entrepreneur.
In addition to NEA, Fetchr is also backed by Delta Partners, Dhabi Holdings, Roland Berger, and 500 Startups.
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