Saudi-backed TruKKer secures $10m venture debt from US firm

Saudi-backed TruKKer secures $10m venture debt from US firm
TruKKer’s network stretches into the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, with a fleet of over 25,000 trucks. (AFP file photo)
Short Url
Updated 22 December 2020

Saudi-backed TruKKer secures $10m venture debt from US firm

Saudi-backed TruKKer secures $10m venture debt from US firm
  • Deal with Silicon Valley-based firm PFG described as largest-ever venture-debt in Mid-East tech history

DUBAI: TruKKer, the region’s first on-demand truck aggregator, has raised a $10 million strategic venture debt from Silicon Valley-based firm Partners for Growth (PFG).

The logistics firm, which is backed by Saudi investors and often referred to as “Uber for trucks,” has secured what has been described as the largest-ever venture-debt in Middle Eastern tech history.

Founded in 2016, TruKKer also raised $23 million last year in a Series A funding round that included STV, IFC and Endeavor Catalyst. The new deal will mark PFG’s first investment in the region.

TruKKer is a majority Saudi-owned company with other investors from the Kingdom including Riyadh Capital and Riyadh Taqnia Fund.

Headquartered in the capital, where founder and CEO Gaurav Biswas is from, the company said the majority of its revenue now comes from Saudi clients, and it plans to expand aggressively in the country in the near future.

“We are disrupting a very fragmented industry, both operationally and commercially, by using advanced data science and technology tools,” said Amit Agarwal, TruKKer’s group chief financial officer.

“One of our essential capabilities is the ability to finance instant payments to the small transporters and owner-operators, while offering standard credit terms for enterprise clients.”

PFG’s Managing Director Jason Geogatos said: “TruKKer offers a very interesting proposition for a debt fund to support a diverse and growing portfolio of debtors with a custom facility tailored to enable the company’s rapid expansion.”

He added: “We are very excited about working with the TruKKer team to provide capital to help them scale their impressive platform, harnessing the trend of increasing technological adoption to deliver efficiencies across the massive freight industry across the Middle East.”

TruKKer’s network stretches into the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, with a fleet of over 25,000 trucks and 500 business-to-business customers currently registered on the platform.

In August, Biswas, told Arab News that he has big ambitions in the Kingdom. “Saudi Arabia continues to amaze me with how innovation is accelerating at such a rapid pace. Young Saudis are so ambitious, believe in technology and are keen to deliver,” he said.

“I think an IPO (initial public offering) in the Saudi markets in the next few years would be a delightful outcome for a business like TruKKer.”


Saudi Arabia to use 50m hectares of land for massive tree planting target

Saudi Arabia to use 50m hectares of land for massive tree planting target
Updated 14 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to use 50m hectares of land for massive tree planting target

Saudi Arabia to use 50m hectares of land for massive tree planting target

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia is going to use 50 million hectares of land to plant 10 billion trees under the Saudi Green Initiative (SGI), the Kingdom’s environment minister said on Saturday.

Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley said the Kingdom will be held accountable for its ambitious tree planting project, as it aims to “provide a green cover to reduce the negative impact of climate change”.

The minister, who was speaking at the SGI Forum in Riyadh, also reiterated the Saudi Crown Prince’s commitment to the Kingdom’s environmental objectives. 

He said the Crown Prince has increased the percentage of the Kingdom’s protected land from 16 percent to 20 percent. 


United Nations praises Saudi Arabia's 'bold and courageous' climate change plans revealed at SGI 2021

United Nations praises Saudi Arabia's 'bold and courageous' climate change plans revealed at SGI 2021
Updated 7 min 59 sec ago

United Nations praises Saudi Arabia's 'bold and courageous' climate change plans revealed at SGI 2021

United Nations praises Saudi Arabia's 'bold and courageous' climate change plans revealed at SGI 2021

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia has submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) to the UN today, according to the country's Energy Minister.

INDCs are instruments set out under the Paris Agreement that allow the UN to assess how the world is tackling climate change.

Addressing the Saudi Green Initiative Forum in Riyadh, Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman revealed the details had been sent via email.

Reacting to the annoucement, Patricia Espinosa, executive secretary to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: "This is certainly the kind of leadership that the world needs precisely at this time and I want to commend His Royal Highness, the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for this very bold and courageous decisions that send a powerful signal just a few days before we start the conference in Glasgow. 

She added: “This is what we need; we need countries to come to cope with great decisions, bold decisions with high level of ambition — we need to have the clarity of these pathways of the deadlines that we established so I wholeheartedly commend and express my gratitude for a very important oil producing country is really a game changing, history changing decision."

 


Global energy transition will take time, UAE state minister says

Global energy transition will take time, UAE state minister says
Updated 27 min 45 sec ago

Global energy transition will take time, UAE state minister says

Global energy transition will take time, UAE state minister says
  • Al-Jaber, who is also the chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Group, said the world is entering an oil supply crunch

RIYADH: UAE Minister of State Sultan Al-Jaber said the world “need to accept” that global energy transition will take time. 

Al-Jaber, who is also the chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) Group, said the world is entering an oil supply crunch. 

He added 80 percent of energy demand is still coming from fossil fuel, and the world is “underinvesting” in hydrocarbons. 


Saudi energy minister optimistic Kingdom can achieve net carbon zero before 2060 

Saudi energy minister optimistic Kingdom can achieve net carbon zero before 2060 
Updated 23 October 2021

Saudi energy minister optimistic Kingdom can achieve net carbon zero before 2060 

Saudi energy minister optimistic Kingdom can achieve net carbon zero before 2060 

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Energy Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the Kingdom might reach the net carbon zero target ahead of the 2060 mark. 

The minister was building on earlier statements by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during the Saudi Green Initiative in Riyadh. 

Carbon reduction efforts, including investing in renewable energy and the circular economy, will help the Kingdom achieve this goal, the energy minister said. 


Saudi Arabia to reach net zero carbon by 2060: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia to reach net zero carbon by 2060: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
Updated 33 min 5 sec ago

Saudi Arabia to reach net zero carbon by 2060: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Arabia to reach net zero carbon by 2060: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Kingdom is aiming to achieve net carbon neutrality by 2060, during a speech to the Saudi Green Initiative forum in Riyadh on Saturday.

The Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 278 million tons per year by 2030, with the adoption of the Carbon Circular Economy — based on zero waste — will help reach the target.

The Kingdom will also join the Global Methane Pledge to contribute to cutting global methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as part of its commitment to deliver a cleaner, greener future.

The Crown Prince said the Kingdom will plant 450 million trees and rehabilitate 8 million hectares of degraded lands by 2030, reducing 200 million tons of carbon emissions with additional initiatives to be announced in the years to come

To further amplify its protection of terrestrial, marine and coastal environments, the Crown Prince announced that Saudi Arabia is joining the Global Ocean Alliance, establishing the Ocean Exploration Foundation and announcing a number of initiatives – including a Global Center for Tourism Sustainability.

He added that this first set of initiatives represents over 700 billion Saudi riyals contributing to the growth of the green economy.

The Crown Prince said: “The Saudi Green Initiative will provide huge investment opportunities for the private sector, quality job opportunities for the next generation of leaders in the Kingdom and enhanced international relationships that will have a positive impact on the region and the world.”