Fenix, the latest UAE-based micro mobility startup has raised $3.8 million in seed funding.
Founded by the former Careem executive IQ Sayed and the former regional head of Circ, Jaideep Dhanoa, Fenix will initially begin operations in Abu Dhabi and eventually operate across the Middle East and North Africa as well as Turkey.
Leading the investment round was Israel-based VC mobility tech company Maniv Mobility. The deal marks the largest pre-launch venture funding round in the history of the UAE tech ecosystem and the first from an Israeli VC in the region.
“The birth of Fenix is conjoined with the rebirth of our cities, our societies, and our economies as we transition out of Covid-19 lockdowns. We believe micro mobility has an important role to play in navigating an uncertain present to a better tomorrow,” said IQ Sayed, founder of Fenix
“We want to transform the way our cities move and ignite impactful commerce by making mobility easier, cheaper, and quite simply redesigned, so we can all reach our potential. Increasing mobility connectivity creates a more productive and inclusive economy and facilitates local commerce in our communities. Our collaboration with Maniv Mobility and this historic seed investment provides the resources and expertise for Fenix to build technology innovations that best service the mobility needs of the people and city partners in our region,” he added.
Micro mobility has gained prominence as one of the safest means of transport following the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic; however, the market itself is still at a nascent stage in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region and was heavily impacted by the Covid1-9 and ensuing lockdown. Shortly after the lockdown was imposed in the Middle East, Circ shut down its operations while Careem halted its bicycle-sharing business in the UAE.
In October, Berlin-based micro-mobility provider TIER, launched its first fleet of e-scooters in Dubai, marking the first launch of an e-scooter service in the emirate since it was banned by the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) on safety grounds in 2019.