Egyptian Logistics Startup Accepted Into Y Combinator Accelerator Program

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
Y Combinator
Egyptian tech startup Trella was founded by CEO Omar Hagrass (center), chief technology officer Pierre Saad (right), and Mohamed el Garem (left), head of sales. Image: Trella

Cairo-based truck logistics marketplace Trella, which was founded by a former Uber executive, has been accepted into Y Combinator’s summer 2019 batch.

The Egyptian startup is the first African firm to be selected for the Silicon Valley-based accelerator’s current cohort, according to Menabytes.

Trella’s digital platform connects shippers and carriers in real-time, using data to optimize drivers’ routes and increase the volume of loads to reduce wasted space and costs for both sides of the shipping transaction.

The truck logistics industry lacks transparency in Egypt, and it is three times more expensive to transport goods in the country than in the U.S. This is an issue that Trella is trying to solve.

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Trella was founded in 2018 by CEO Omar Hagrass, a former Uber executive; chief technology officer Pierre Saad; and Mohamed el Garem, head of sales.

Hagrass helped U.S. ride-hailing firm Uber expand Uber Eats across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, launching the food delivery service in Dubai, Cape Town, Riyadh, and more than 40 cities across the U.K.

The Egyptian trucking platform is less than a year old, but it already has 20 shippers using its service and is monitoring and managing the shipment of 1,500 loads per month, Techcrunch reports.

In February 2019, Trella raised $600,000 in a pre-series funding round led by Cairo-based VC fund Algebra Ventures, according to Crunchbase.

Trella is expecting to close a multimillion-dollar seed round in October this year, Menabytes reports.

African tech startups and Y Combinator

Acceptance to the Y Combinator program means that Trella will receive $150,000 in funding, in addition to a demo day at the end of the program which gives them exposure and the opportunity to pitch for additional investment.

Seven African startups were among the 189 companies that participated at Y Combinator‘s Winter 2019 Demo Day in March.

Silicon Valley-based Y Combinator is perhaps the world’s most powerful startup accelerator program.

Y Combinator has helped accelerate 28 African tech startups including PayStackKobo360, ReleafCowryRise, TizetiFlutterwave and Helium Health from Nigeria, as well as OMG Digital from Ghana and Morocco’s WaystoCap.