Yassir, a ride-hailing app based in Algeria, has recently raised $3 million in a Series A funding round led by Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) and joined by 47 Ventures and Algerian company Groupe Hassanein. In this article, we take a closer look at Yassir and its plans for expansion in North Africa.
Yassir was founded in 2017 by entrepreneur Karim Oumnia, who saw an opportunity to disrupt the traditional taxi industry in Algeria. The company’s name means “easy” in Arabic, and its goal is to provide a convenient and affordable transportation solution for Algerians.
Since its launch, Yassir has grown rapidly, expanding to six cities across Algeria, including Algiers, Oran, and Constantine. The app allows users to book rides with just a few taps on their smartphones and provides real-time updates on their driver’s location and estimated arrival time.
One of the key features of Yassir is its cashless payment system, which allows users to pay for their rides using a credit card or mobile wallet. This is an important feature in a region where cash is still the dominant form of payment and can be challenging for ride-hailing apps to navigate.
Yassir has also prioritized driver safety, implementing a rigorous screening process for its drivers and providing them with training on defensive driving techniques. In addition, the app uses GPS tracking to monitor driver behavior and ensure that they are following traffic rules and regulations.
The $3 million funding round is a significant milestone for Yassir and will be used to fuel the company’s expansion across North Africa. The company plans to use the funds to expand its operations to new cities in Algeria and to launch in other countries in the region, including Tunisia and Morocco.
Yassir’s success is a testament to the potential of the ride-hailing market in North Africa, which is largely untapped by international players like Uber and Careem. The region has a large and growing population, with a high proportion of young people who are increasingly connected to the internet and using smartphones.
However, the region also faces unique challenges, including limited access to banking and financial services and a fragmented transportation infrastructure. Yassir’s cashless payment system and focus on driver safety have helped to address some of these challenges, and the company’s expansion plans show that there is still significant opportunity for growth in the region.
In addition to its core ride-hailing business, Yassir is also exploring new opportunities in logistics and delivery services. The company recently launched a new service called Yassir Express, which allows users to send packages and documents across Algeria. This is an important market, as many small and medium-sized businesses in Algeria face challenges with logistics and transportation.
Yassir’s success has not gone unnoticed, and the company has received numerous awards and accolades, including being named the best Algerian startup at the 2020 Seedstars competition. The company has also been recognized for its commitment to social impact, with initiatives such as Yassir Solidarity, which provides free rides to medical workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Overall, Yassir’s success and recent funding round are a promising sign for the ride-hailing market in North Africa. The company’s focus on innovation, safety, and convenience have resonated with consumers in the region, and its expansion plans show that there is still significant untapped potential for growth. As Yassir continues to expand and evolve, it will be interesting to see how it shapes the transportation industry in North Africa and beyond.