RIYADH: Iraq’s first super app Baly raised an historic $10.5 million in its latest funding round — the most ever for a tech startup in the country.
Baly launched ride-hailing as its first service in Baghdad last month, and already boasts thousands of rides each day, according to a press release.
Additional services, like food and grocery delivery, will go live in the next few weeks, and Baly will expand to cover more cities in the country.
The startup will be able to use the new funds to support its scaling efforts in operations and market growth, the company said.
Baly Managing Director Matteo Mantovani said: “Iraq is home to 40 million people, with over 90 percent smartphone penetration amongst those aged 17-40.
“With a young, urbanized population, it is the perfect place to revolutionize the economy through digital services.
Arnd Lodowicks, chief financial officer of investor Rocket Internet, said: “Baly is for us a world-class team in an extremely exciting and promising market. We are looking forward to supporting the company on its mission to become the leading super app of Iraq.”
Venture capital funding in Iraq reached record highs in 2021, despite the political and socio-economic challenges in the region, according to Baly.
It crossed the $5 million mark over five deals in 2021, recording a 170 percent year-on-year jump in VC funding.
Kingsway Capital, MSA Capital, Global Founders Capital, Vostok Ventures, Majid Al Futtaim, and March Holding all participated in the funding round for Baly.