Egyptian trucking marketplace Trella raises $600k pre-seed round

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Egyptian trucking marketplace Trella has raised more than US$600,000 in a pre-seed funding round led by Algebra Ventures, as it bids to reduce costs for shippers by improving load utilisation and efficiency.

B2B trucking marketplace Trella was founded last year by Omar Hagrass, formerly of Uber, and Pierre Saad, previously of Vezeeta, to address pain-points in a deeply fragmented industry.

The startup’s platform connects shippers with carriers in real-time, with the goal of making the entire supply chain faster and more reliable while reducing slack and exceptions. It empowers drivers and reduces costs for shippers by improving load utilisation and efficiency, offering transparent pricing schedules, and enabling shipment tracking in real-time.

It has now raised pre-seed funding of over US$600,000 in a round led by Algebra Ventures, a US$50 million Cairo-based venture capital fund that has invested in a host of early-stage technology companies in Egypt and the MENA region, including Eventtus, elmenus, Halan, FilKhedma and GoodsMart.

The round also features strategic investors, global VCs, and notable angel investors including Esther Dyson and Jambu Palaniappan.

“Building on the fantastic success of ride-hailing startups, we built a similar solution for the freight industry in the region to improve efficiency throughout the supply chain,’ said Hagrass.

“The interest in our solution has been overwhelming, both from businesses who want to use our technology, and from truckers who are getting significantly more value and more consistent flow of business through our platform. We’re optimising truckers’ routes so they’re no longer driving empty.”

Managing partner Karim Hussein said Algebra Ventures was “thrilled” to be leading the Trella round.

“They’re a superstar team with proven execution ability. The large and highly fragmented freight market in Egypt is ripe for technological disruption. We are excited to be joined by a group of capable and experienced co-investors who will help accelerate Trella’s growth in the short run and support it in subsequent financings,” he said.

Angel investor Palaniappan, previously head of Uber Eats EMEA, said he was excited to take part in the round.

“The premise of bringing world class logistics technology to shippers and carriers across Egypt is a strong one, and the Trella team is extremely well equipped to achieve their ambitious goals. I look forward to supporting them along the way,” he said.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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