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Fetchr raises $15m for Saudi Arabia expansion

Fetchr raises $15m for Saudi Arabia expansion

Pledges could increase to as much as $25m

Fetchr secured at least $15m in fresh funding to expand in Saudi Arabia as part of a turnaround plan that saved the Dubai-based courier app from collapse.

The latest financing round, which still needs shareholders’ approval, could see pledges increase to as much as $25m, according to documents seen by Bloomberg. The commitments are being made by venture capital firm BECO Capital, Saudi Arabia’s Tamer Group and French shipping company CMA CGM SA, the documents show.

Fetchr’s interim chief executive officer Mazen Mamlouk confirmed the details of the financing round.

The company, which offers delivery and logistics services to e-commerce firms, late last year had to consider selling the business or filing for bankruptcy due to a “rapidly diminishing” financial performance. It was able to raise $10 million in bridge finance, which diluted existing shareholders to almost zero, according to a letter to investors seen by Bloomberg in December.

Since then, the company has brought in new management, reduced the rate at which it burns cash and closed operations in Jordan, Bahrain and Oman, according to the latest documents. It also cut about 1,230 jobs.

Mamlouk will soon pass the reins to Hussein Wehbe — the former managing director of United Parcel Service Inc.’s Middle East business – but will remain as an adviser with Fetchr, he said by phone.

Representatives for BECO, CMA CGM and Tamer Group didn’t immediately respond to emails seeking comment.

Fetchr, once one of the rising stars of the Middle East’s nascent startup scene, was valued at almost $300m in a 2017 fund-raising round. Silicon Valley investors such as New Enterprise Associates, Nokia Oyj’s venture capital arm and Winklevoss Capital were among its backers.

Fetchr’s turnaround is overseen by prominent businessmen such as Iyad Malas, the former chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim, Gate Capital founder Munther Hilal and Hussein Hachem, who led logistics firm Aramex for five years.

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