Egyptian motorcycle and tuk-tuk ride-hailing startup Halan is in the process of raising a Series B funding round as it prepares to launch in Ethiopia.
Founded in 2017 by Mounir Nakhla and Ahmed Mohsen, Halan is a ride-hailing app for two- and three-wheeler vehicles, which helps lower income individuals access on-demand transportation.
The startup has already facilitated over 20 million rides, expanded to Sudan, and launched a growing food delivery vertical for clients such as McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut, as it grows into a “super app”. This growth was assisted by a multi-million dollar funding round co-led by Singapore’s Battery Road Digital Holdings and Egypt’s Algebra Ventures last year, and Halan is now working on a Series B round.
That round – the startup is not disclosing the target amount – will help Halan expand its offering further, and also enter new markets.
“The company is working on growing both its B2C offerings, and its B2B products – these include on-demand logistics, as well as courier services, direct sales, payments, and peer-to-peer delivery,” Nakhla told Disrupt Africa.
Halan is also currently testing rides in Ethiopia, and should be fully operational before the end of 2019. Expansion will not stop there.
“We do hope that Halan becomes pan-African,” said Nakhla.
Nakhla was inspired to launch Halan after spending time with Nadiem Makarim, founder of Asian ride-hailing company GoJek.
“I got very inspired by his success and the potential of tech-driven companies in Egypt, as well as the rest of Africa,” he said.
Nakhla had previously co-founded a light-transport financing business and a micro-financing company, and to launch Halan he brought on board even more expertise. Mohsen is also a serial founder, while the startup also hired Careem’s former regional director, Mohamed Aboulnaga, as chief commercial officer. Chief operating officer Ahmed Gad also worked at Careem, while chief marketing officer Dina Ghabbour was previously with one of Egypt’s largest automotive companies, Ghabbour Auto.
This stellar team targeted a major gap in the market.
“There are a lot of people in Egypt living in underserved areas characterised by narrow, unpaved streets. Halan ventured into the space of light-vehicle ride-hailing to provide safe, reliable and convenient transportation – with transparent pricing, to minimise friction – in those areas that lack the adequate infrastructure for cars, or mini-vans,” Nakhla said.
Essentially, the startup is targeting a wholly different space to that in which companies like Uber and Careem play.
“There is no one else in the market offering tut tuk ride-hailing. Uber and Careem both avail motorcycles, but we operate in different parts of Egypt. As for food delivery, Halan is the only “mobility as a service” provider for logistics in Egypt,” said Nakhla.
The startup, which makes revenues from charging commissions on rides and deliveries booked through its platform, is now in the process of taking on funding to aid its expansion into more verticals and markets.
“Our biggest challenge has been adapting to the very fast-paced growth, and building an organisation that can support it and promote further growth, while also introducing new verticals and business lines,” Nakhla said.