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)
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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.”


IMF: Iraq has requested emergency assistance

IMF: Iraq has requested emergency assistance
Updated 13 min ago

IMF: Iraq has requested emergency assistance

IMF: Iraq has requested emergency assistance
  • The OPEC member’s economy has only a small manufacturing base and almost all goods are dollar-priced imports

Iraq has requested emergency assistance from the International Monetary Fund and talks are ongoing between the parties, the IMF said late on Sunday.
Iraqi Finance Minister Ali Allawi told Bloomberg News earlier that Iraq was in talks with the IMF for a $6 billion loan package.
“The Iraqi authorities have requested emergency assistance from the IMF under the Rapid Financing Instrument, and indicated their intention to also request a longer-term arrangement with the Fund in support of planned economic reforms,” an IMF representative said in an emailed statement.
“Discussions of the authorities’ request for emergency assistance are ongoing.”
The IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument provides quick financial assistance, which is available to all member countries facing an urgent balance-of-payments need.
Financial assistance under the RFI is provided without the need for a full-fledged program or review, according to the IMF website.
Iraq may ask for an additional $4 billion in low-cost loans through another program linked to government reforms, Allawi said on Sunday.
Iraq devalued the dinar last month after a collapse in global oil prices, a major source of Iraq’s financial resources.
Allawi told Bloomberg that Iraq also planned other types of funding to help plug the budget gap. Once the spending plan was approved, the government would move to issue $5 billion in domestic bonds to expand its financial base.
The OPEC member’s economy has only a small manufacturing base and almost all goods are dollar-priced imports.