Turkish ride sharing app Volt raises over $500K

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Turkish ride sharing service Volt has raised $550,000 from Lebanon-based investor Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP), with participation from Lebanon-based fund Saned Partners.

The closure of the seed round was announced today on Volt’s website.

Having previously raised a seed round from MEVP and Wamda Capital this marks their second seed round raised by the Istanbul startup.

In the statement Volt said that “the main objective of this round is to scale operations and product development in Istanbul, accelerate the driver user base growth and launch to passengers”.

Just tryin' to get from A to B.

They go on to say they will use this investment for two things: increasing the number of drivers and the demand of users in areas Volt is operational.

Volt told Wamda over email today that so far they have only been focusing on driver acquisition and their marketing spend has come to less than $9,000. Despite this they have had more than 100,000 downloads, and monthly more than 2,000 drivers making an average of 2.7 trips a day.

“Turkey has always been on our radar as a key country and source of innovation,” MEVP’s Walid Mansour told Wamda today. “We are actively scouting opportunities and feel that in the long term Turkey will consolidate its position as a key MENA, Asian player.”

The on-demand peer-to-peer ride-sharing app was launched by Lebanese entrepreneur Ali Halabi back in 2014. And, not too dissimilar to the ‘service’ ride-sharing that’s popular in his home country of Lebanon, this app connects car owners with passengers going in the same direction, in real-time. According to Volt the rides are up to 70 percent cheaper than a taxi.

Earlier this year Bloomberg reported that the amount of money that had gone so far into ride-sharing apps, globally, was nearly twice that of any other “hot startup segment” in all of 2015.

The Middle East region is certainly not detached from this. Remember Saudi’s $3.5 billion investment in Uber Technologies; Careem’s round of $60 million in 2015 ; Egypt’s Ousta raising $1.25 million investment; plus a plethora of parking, car servicing and ride hailing apps popping up.

With ambitions beyond Turkey, much like others in the market (Careem recently launched in Turkey and now has sights on East Africa) Volt sees Turkey as their test market and have said that their simultaneous raising of another round, of $2.5 million, will be used to finance a move to another city, outside of Turkey.

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