- Lebanon-based super app toters, has raised $18 million in a Series B round from International Finance Corporation (IFC), March Holding and B&Y Ventures, along with an undisclosed group of investors.
- The recent funding round will help Toters expand its scale of operations in its home market as well as Iraq.
- Founded by Tamim Khalfa and Nael Halwani in 2017, Toters offers multiple services such as food delivery, grocery delivery, courier services, and payment and financial transaction services through a single platform.
Lebanon-based super app toters, which has been operational in Iraq since 2019, has raised $18 million in a Series B round, led by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the development arm of the World Bank Group, and March Holding as well as returning investor, B&Y Ventures, along with an undisclosed group of investors.
Founded in 2017 by Tamim Khalfa and Nael Halwani, toters began as a food delivery platform before adopting a super app strategy, offering several services including grocery delivery, courier services and payment and financial transaction services on its platform.
With the recent funding, toters will be able to accelerate its expansion in Iraq by onboarding more restaurant partners and retailers as well as couriers.
"toters and other logistics platforms can serve as a key infrastructure layer within digital economies because they create earning opportunities for micro-entrepreneurs, which are the couriers, digitise small and medium-sized enterprises, and offer a platform upon which multiple digital services can be built," said Anissa Kanoun, MEANP regional lead for IFC's venture capital (VC) team.
She adds: “In Indonesia, Gojek started off as a mobility platform. it's become a behemoth super app with a multitude of services from payments to delivery to even laundry and GoJek is a major driver of the digital economy in Indonesia. We really believe that toters have the potential to have a similar impact in the markets where they operate.”
The delivery space in Iraq is becoming more and more concentrated. Food delivery services in particular, have seen a significant uptick recently, a result of growth in internet penetration and rising consumer demand. Earlier in January, food delivery platforms tip-top and Alsaree3 Group raised $5 million and $3.2 million respectively. A few days later, Rocket Internet-backed supper app and ride-hailing startup Baly raised $10.5 million.
"Iraq offers a tremendous market opportunity; it has a large population, mostly youth who are increasingly tech-savvy. We just saw an opportunity as toters had been able to be successful in Lebanon, despite the presence of large international incumbents. Covid, despite its significant devastation, is the catalyst for digitisation, with growing online penetration, growing consumers and companies doing more online than ever before, we thought this was the right time to invest in a platform like toters," Anissa explained.
IFC has also invested in a couple of Egypt-based venture capital (VC) funds: Algebra and Disruptech, a fintech-focused fund. It also led a $25 million Series A round for Egypt’s social commerce startup Brimore back in January.