According to stats reported by TechCrunch+, over 65% of Morocco’s population does not own a bank account. Additionally, a 2018 McKinsey report on growth and innovation in African retail banking further shared, that 57% of the continent’s population lack any form of a bank account.
However, 40% of Africa’s population that does own any form of bank account prefers digital channels for transactions. And this is where Yassir comes into play. Considering that the region’s 50% population can access the internet, the African startup aims to provide consumers with a mobile banking solution as part of a broader suite of services.
What is Yassir?
Founded in 2017 by Noureddine Tayebi and El Mahdi Yettou, Yassir is a super app that provides its users with a suite of services, including ridesharing, grocery deliveries, and financial services. As of now, the startup operates in 45 cities across six countries throughout the world, with more than eight million users.
The startup’s name originates from the Arabic word “Yassir meaning “easy”, and that is exactly what the startup aims to do, i.e., to make people’s life easy.
Not only is the company offering ride-hailing and food and grocery delivery services in multiple cities across different countries, but three out of five on-demand activities in Algeria, its first market, are made via the platform.
Background of Founders
Noureddine completed his Ph.D. at Stanford University. He started his early career at the Intel Corporation as Research Engineer and Team Lead. In 2014, he founded the California-based company, InSense Inc.
Over the course of the next few years, he served at a number of organizations in different capacities until 2015, when he became the founder and CEO of Yassir.
El Mahdi Yettou
Mahdi Yettou joined Yassir in 2017 as the company’s Director General and Co-Founder.
In essence, Yassir is building an all-in-one ecosystem app, that provides its customers with a single-point solution for managing their day-to-day activities, from traveling to work to ordering groceries and meals, touching every component of the multi-sided marketplace.
Its financial services serve this multisided marketplace ecosystem, which includes 8 million users (over 2.5x from last year) and 100,000 partners consisting of drivers, couriers, merchants, suppliers, and wholesalers.
The startup is leveraging this network, which also includes a B2B e-commerce retail part that connects fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) suppliers with merchants — for its payments play assembled on top wallet provision and deployment of drivers and couriers as money agents.
Seed Round: Raised $13.25 million
The startup raised $13.25 million in its seed round.
Series A Round: Raised $30 million
In November 2021, the startup raised a $30 million Series A round.
The investment came from a long list of VCs and angel investors. VCs included:
- DN Capital
- Kismet Capital
- Spike Ventures
- Quiet Capital
- Endeavor Catalyst
- FJ Labs
- Nellore Capital
- Moving Capital
While, the angel investors included: Cleo Sham of Uber; Thomas Layton of Upwork, Opentable, and Metaweb; Rohan Monga of Gojek; and Hannes Graah of Spotify and Revolut.
Series B Round: Raised $150 million
In November 2022, the company bagged $150 million in Series B funding, which is approximately five times what it had raised in its previous priced round last November.
The investment was led by Bond, the growth-stage firm that Mary Meeker spun out of Kleiner Perkins in 2018. Other investors in the growth round included:
- DN Capital
- Dorsal Capital
- Quiet Capital
- Stanford Alumni Ventures
- Y Combinator via its Continuity Fund, among other strategic investors
With this latest round of funding, Yassir plans to further deepen its footprint in the northern African region and the rest of the world. It is currently operational in 45 cities across six countries, and most popular in Maghreb nations like Algeria, where it originated from, Morocco, and Tunisia.
Tayebi, who founded Yassir with Mahdi Yettou, says the startup intends to invest heavily in its engineering and product teams by tripling their size, at the least. He further shared how the funding will assist the startup, which currently has offices in Algeria, Canada, France, Morocco, and Tunisia — in consolidating its growth, rolling out new services in the existing markets, and expanding into new geographies across Africa and the Middle East directly or via acquisitions.