Having started life as a food delivery app, toters is now poised to lead the way in delivery and logistics of all kinds.
Lebanese on-demand delivery app, toters, is set to aggressively expand in Iraq after raising a $18 million Series B round led by the International FInance Corporation (IFC), UAE-based March Holding, returning investor, Beirut’s B&Y Ventures.
Founded by Tamim Khalfa and Nael Halwani in 2017, toters initially emerged as a food delivery app, before expanding to offer several services including grocery delivery, courier services and payment and financial transaction services through its ‘super app’.
While Iraq may not be a priority for most in the region, the country’s delivery space offers ample opportunity for disruption. With internet penetration standing at 75% in 2021, delivery apps have seen a small but growing demand and interest, something recently demonstrated by TipTop’s $5 million raise in January of this year, while BALY scored $10 million.
“Iraq offers a tremendous market opportunity,” said Anissa Kanoun, MEANP regional lead for IFC's venture capital team. “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.”
Citing the success of Indonesia’s Gojek, which began as a mobility platform before evolving quickly to super app status, Kanoun sees potential for toters to follow suit. .”We really believe that toters have the potential to have a similar impact in the markets where they operate. 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.”
Smaller markets, like Iraq and Lebanon, as well as the likes of Kuwait and Tunisia, have contributed to the growing VC interest in MENAP. Iraq in particular has proven to be a dark horse. Transport & logistics has been at the forefront of Iraq’s digital revolution and TipTop, BALY and, of course, toters are poised to lead the way, while also cementing their significance in the wider region.