The TruKKer team has pulled in some heavy hitters in recent rounds, and will be using the fresh $100 million on 'new and existing markets'. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The on-demand freight portal TruKKer, based in Saudi Arabia, has hit a sweet spot with its latest funding, bringing on board Bahrain-based Investcorp. The round raised $100 million, with other investments being provided by Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Valley Capital, Egypt's Reliance Group and Iraq-based March Holding.

There was also a follow-on investment by Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala. "It is a significant achievement for the organization and its leadership to have closed a late-stage venture round in the current climate in the region,” said Gaurav Biswas, founder and CEO of TruKKer. “Speaks a lot about the strong fundamentals of the business and its solid growth path."

Earlier rounds had brought in another Abu Dhabi heavyweight, ADQ, and there were also entries for STV and RTF. TruKKer also tapped 'venture debt', raised from Partners for Growth and followed by a recent raise from Mars Growth.

The latest financing follows a series of ‘technology upgrades, expansions, and growth across TruKKer's home markets’ and new ones in Turkey and the CIS. The funds will be used to ‘democratize access to new-age trucking’ by going deeper into new and existing markets.

TruKKer is just one example of the kind of company that will prove very attractive to institutional investors as the Saudi ecosystem matures, and our Pre-IPO fund will focus on exactly these kinds of high-growth businesses

- Hazem Ben-Gacem of lnvestcorp

Cashflow plus in 2023

TruKKer expects to turn cashflow positive next year, by which time the company would have hit the seven year in operations mark. “Unlike a lot of consumer tech businesses, there are multiple stakeholders in a supply chain constraining rapid growth,” said Biswas. “We have focused on scaling sustainably and avoided growth at any cost. The industry addressable market is into tens of billions - but only a few players have any reasonable scale.”

While TruKKer itself doesn’t operate a fleet, what the portal does is offer access to multiple service providers for their clients. Ease of access for shipments is what the company promises, while for truckers, this is a way to ensure optimum space is used up on their vehicles across trips.

As of now, TruKKer works with over 700 B2B clients including blue-chips in FMCG, metals and petrochemicals, and has the 'region’s largest carrier network of over 45,000 trucks spread across eight countries'.

An eye on Saudi Arabia

"Saudi Arabia is increasingly rich in highly investible companies, from fast-growth technology businesses like TruKKer to long-established family businesses that have grown consistently and are now looking for capital to implement more ambitious expansion plans," said Hazem Ben-Gacem, Co-CEO of lnvestcorp. "We are seeing a lot of interest in pre-lPO rounds as scale-ups secure greater scale-ups secure greater market share and more and more growing Saudi businesses prove themselves on a national and regional basis."

EV alliances?
In a trend that is picking up globally, TruKKer could strike deals with electric truck operators too. It is 'working with a few OEMs and some research-based teams' on such an initiative.

"TruKKer continues to be uniquely positioned from a technological, financial and operational basis to execute on this tremendous market opportunity," said Amit Agarwal, CFO, TruKKer.