Super app Yassir has emerged as the most valuable North African startup
Multifaceted marketplace Yassir which offers on demand services which include ride hailing, banking, food and grocery delivery and such just announced that it has secured $150 million Series B funding sourced from a collection of leading global investors. The funding was spearheaded by BOND. Other participants in the investment include Dorsal Capital, DN Capital, Stanford Alumni Ventures, Quiet Capital, and Y Combinator amongst others.
Five years after its launch, Yassir has secured an aggregate funding of $193.25 million to become the most valuable North African startup. It has emerged as one of the top valued startups in the whole of Africa and the Middle East. Yassir’s latest funding will be channelled into its expansion drive to cover the regions of Africa and the Middle East. The startup prides itself as a company dedicated to easing the lives of its customers; a commitment which it is named after, (Yassir means easy in Arabic).
According to the company’s founder and CEO, Noureddine Tayebi:“In the markets where we operate, we are already having a considerable impact on how people manage their day-to-day lives. We look forward to expanding our presence into other geographies to become the first super app to achieve mass adoption.”
Yassir was founded in 2017 and currently has about 8 million users active in six countries and 45 cities. Yassir is a super app offering a fleet of services that makes life easier for its users which includes; rideshare, food and grocery delivery, banking, and lots more. The startup has already gained wide acceptance in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco (The Maghreb) and some French speaking parts of Africa. Yassirs CEO Nourdine is a native Algerian with a PhD obtained from Stanford. He returned to Algeria to build Yassir after a stint of over 15 years in Silicon Valley.
Yassir works as an all encompassing service provider to manage users daily activity which may include anything from ordering groceries, carrying out financial transactions, traveling, etc. Yassir is currently a 100,000 business partnership benefiting vendors and gig workers including couriers, drivers, merchants and wholesalers among others.
Noureddine describes his vision for Yassir as a threefold mission: “First, we want to create a local tech startup success model which will be emulated by others and more so Yassir team members. Second, we want to empower the local talent and more importantly the technical talent which often leaves the region, mainly to Europe, to pursue further studies or find jobs. We, in fact, hire engineering talent in each country we operate in to expand that mission. And finally, we want to make the lives of our people easy while infusing social values via our products such as trust and mutual help.”
Apart from Yassir’s core service, the startup also provides financial services covering the entire business ecosystem and is actively involved in all aspects of the multifaceted marketplace. In 2018, a McKinsey & Company report on growth and innovation in African retail banking discovered that 57% of Africa’s population were without a bank account. 40% of those with bank accounts had a preference for digital channel bank transactions. Yassir’s objective to add the provision of mobile banking solutions to its services serves a much needed market need. It has also been confirmed that at least 50% of Africa’s population have mobile internet access so this makes Yassir’s direction worthy of commendation.
Speaking on the recent Yassir investment, Daegwon Chae, a general partner at BOND sees the investment in Yassir as a testament to the believe in Africa as a dynamic and rapidly developing region. This is evident in the wide acceptance the app has already received, and how indispensable Yassir has become for the North African customers. In Chae’s words: “We believe technology will foundationally rearchitect consumers’ relationship with daily needs â€“ transportation, food, financial services â€“ not just in developed countries, but in every corner of the world.”