Addis Ababa-based IT Solutions Share Company Zaytech, the parent company of ridesharing services ZayRide, has completed a funding round from a company of local and international investors for the startup’s market projects and product development.
Having made this announcement sometime in December last year, Digest Africa reports that the press release entombed the identity of the investors that participated in the round. In the statement, the company quietly revealed that they “successfully and significantly” roped in interest-attracting equity capital. According to Zaytech, diaspora investors played a prominent role in the financing round.
In line with a disclosure from an Ethiopian insider, this is the tech company’s second known funding round. IBEX FRONTIER MD, Zekarias Amsalu, who is a partner of this news’ source, cited the significance Zaytech reported with the financing round as a leap in amount. The startup is reported to have raised USD 200 K in 2017, and the recent funding is thus, believed to be substantially higher.
In as much as little literature has been rendered about Zaytech, we are led to believe that the recent funding round will latch the startup on to the diversification of its offerings to anchor its ride-hailing spinoff ZayRide. While the company wrote that the equity financing would provide it with the necessary funds to roll out its growth plans, it also revealed that it would launch added: “complementary and game-changing innovative products in Ethiopia”.
In a piece of information sent to WeeTracker, Zaytech CEO as per the fundraise said: “We started Zaytech back in 2016 as an Ethiopian taxi hailing startup with the goal of transforming the existing inefficient means of transportation in Ethiopia. In 2017, we won Slush competition. We were named a company with biggest market impact in Africa, having partaken as the only startup company representing Ethiopia in Harambee Entrepreneurs Alliance at Harvard.
A cumulative effect of these recognitions has tremendously contributed to our success of raising the first seed investment. Our hard work and excellence continued in 2018 and we closed the year with a significant investment that will enable us to bring more digitized products and services to the fast-growing economy of Ethiopia. I am very pleased to welcome our new investors who have a wealth of experience in launching and scaling up tech companies globally and know the Ethiopian market very well as they guide us in our growth strategy”.
The raise will also help Zaytech expand its market penetration and upheave its talent pool, bolstering the startup’s plans to launch more products and enter new markets in the coming months.
Zaytech was founded in 2016 by Habtamu Tadesse and began operations as an Ethiopian ride-hailing startup. The company features an expansive network of vetted, safe and trained taxi drivers across Addis Ababa for both corporate and individual customers. It has recently added delivery services to its platform, will be adding ambulance services in 2019 and will be launching new products and expanding its Tech outsourcing team following the new round of investment.
Betam Group Holdings, a New York-based family investment firm, was the earliest investors to back the Zaytech in 2018.
“It is truly an exciting time for Ethiopia as when smart capital, technology and an unrelenting and enthusiastic group of people come together; progress is made, innovation happens and wide-ranging positive impact takes place. This is what we ultimately have in Zaytech and we are confident that there will be many great achievements to come as we barrel forward”, said Betam Group’s co-founder, Amanuel Alemu, summing up a busy 2018.
On the backs of its strides in the logistics sector, ZayRide has lodged in the brain of Ethiopians, as many are probably unable to differ between the parent company and the taxi-hailing contrivance.
This article (and headline) was updated with details from a PR and further information from Zaytech CEO, Habtamu Tadesse.
Feature image courtesy: ZayRide