French Ride-Hailing Company Heetch Raises USD 38 Mn For African Expansion
Paris-headquartered ride-hailing startup with a firm footing in Casablanca, Heetch, has raised USD 38 Mn in its fifth funding round, a Series B investment led by Cathay Innovation and Total Ventures, with participation from Idinvest Partners, Innova Allianz, Alven, and Felix Capital.
The 2013-founded company which also has a presence in Belgium, began in France as a ride-hailing service to connect riders with same-age drivers and refocused to cater to professional drivers with eyes set on becoming the number one cab-hailing company in the French markets.
Heetch, founded by Teddy Pellerin and Jacob Matthieu, launched in Morocco last year and already claimed to be a leader in the French-speaking North African country.
Ride-hailing kings Uber and Careem have since checked out of the country due to difficulties with scaling. Nonetheless, the French cab-hailing country adopts the approach of partnering with the nation’s major taxi unions.
Heetch joined the ride-hailing scramble for Africa in November 2017, after which it extended services to the capital Rabat, starting with a fleet of 200 taxi drivers.
In the Moroccan capital, the mobile app recorded widespread use in less than a year, which is evident in the company’s vast network of partners and no less than 4,000 taxi drivers.
The funding which comes in the wake of Uber’s looming IPO will be used to expand to other French and African markets. While it goes head to head with Uber in Europe, Heetch has Algeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal on the list of African countries it should have a turf in by the end of the year.
Believed to have been valued at USD 150 Mn as per the recent investment, Heetch has raised a total of USD 70.5 Mn. A year ago, the company raised USD 20 Mn from a league of similar investors, and this round was preceded by a USD 12 Mn investment from fewer of the same partners.
Teddy Pellerin, on the sidelines of the new financial reception, said: “This is important because platforms and drivers appear to be foes while there is so much we ought to achieve together.
The market is currently not structured in favor of ride-sharing drivers who still have a lot of constraints compared to taxis. It is imperative that we emerge from this opposition, that we work together to create a healthy market that allows everyone to have rewarding careers”.