Baghdad-based food delivery app Alsaree3, and it’s sister company Al Zajel which provides last-mile deliveries and e-logistics services in Baghdad, recently closed its six figure seed round.
The seed round was led by Iraq Tech Ventures and Mr. Shwan Ibrahim Taha, Chairman of Rabee Securities. Other investors in this round included Rawaz Rauf, New Venture Manager for the Hiwa Rauf Group, Bassam Falah, founder and Managing Partner of Innovest ME, and Subhi Khudairi, President of Khudairi Group. This is the second venture in Iraq that was successfully brought to market by the collaboration between Iraq Tech Ventures and Shwan Ibrahim Taha.
Alsaree3 has been operational since 2018 and quickly became the market leader due to its high-quality customer service, fast deliveries, and extensive selection of restaurants (450+) in Baghdad. In addition to providing customers a seamless experience, Alsaree3 focuses on creating as much value as possible for its restaurant partners. It developed its own POS technology and hardware for restaurants to use for its orders which restaurants have willingly paid for themselves.
“Alsaree3 was one of the first companies in the whole region who started developing and using these Android POS systems since our start in 2018. This state-of-the-art technology enables our restaurants to accept, print, and check the history for each order. Also, it enables some of our exclusive restaurants to place offline orders. What’s more, the special M2M sim cards in these POS devices reduce the internet cost for the restaurants enormously.” Says Founder and CEO, Bassam Al-Ateia.
Within the past year, Al-Ateia noticed an opportunity to use his drivers for C2C, B2B, and last-mile deliveries and founded Al Zajel to meet this need in the market. Al Zajel offers an on-demand delivery service within one hour for packages weighing 2kg or less to any location in Baghdad. Together, Alsaree3 and Al Zajel share their own fleet of bikes and drivers and work with additional drivers on a contractual basis during peak hours.
The round included funds raised for both Alsaree3 and Al Zajel. Iraq Tech Ventures and its syndicate of investors were most inspired by Alsaree3’s strong set-up and the team’s ability to provide a consistent, high-quality service despite the countless challenges in Baghdad, and most recently from the restrictions due to COVID-19. Restrictions forced many Iraqis to become new adopters of delivery services like Alsaree3, a trend investors believe will continue as the digital literacy of Iraq’s population increases.
“Alsaree3 is incredibly strong operationally due to the founder’s investment in quality, proprietary technology, and his extensive experience operating in Iraq. We have no doubts about Alsaree3 and Al Zajel’s promising performance in the future.” says Mohammed Khudairi of Iraq Tech Ventures
Startups in Iraq have seen a higher number of investments in a post-COVID climate than ever before. Not only has the pandemic forced people to use online delivery options, but it has also encouraged investors to look more closely at which startups are doing well to keep up with demand.