In August, 2020, the prolific Essa Al-Saleh backed Odiggo as an angel investor. Six months on he’s back for another slice, this time as the CEO of Swiss VC, Agitero AG.
While many startups across the Middle East have spent the last 12 months scrambling for survival, one has, against all odds, flourished. We speak of UAE-based Odiggo, a digital marketplace for automotive spare parts, which has exclusively revealed to Startup Scene that it has raised $608,000 in its latest funding round.
To understand Odiggo’s unlikely rise during the pandemic, you first need to know that the source of the investment is the very same as an August, 2020 investment of $300,000.
The investor in question is one Essa Al-Saleh, the former CEO of leading, billion-dollar logistics company, Agility Logistics, and the current chairman of Volta Trucks, a UK-based tech auto-manufacturing company. Most significantly, he’s also the CEO of Switzerland-based advisory and investment firm, Agitero AG. After making the initial investment in August as an angel investor, Al-Saleh’s eyes seemingly lit up as he saw Odiggo go on to experience an impressive 180% month-over-month increase in revenue, pushing him to invest further. This time he invested via the VC, bringing up the total funding to $608,000.
Our vision is for people to push a button and have everything done for their cars.
For co-founders Ahmed Omar and Ahmed Nasser, the investment sets Odiggo up perfectly for their grand plans. “We're working on bringing in the best team in the Middle East to help us gain the highest market share in what is a scattered trillion dollar industry," Omar told Startup Scene. "We want to enhance our unit economics, empower our product market fit and reach millions of car owners per month."
Ambitious, indeed, but the Omar and Nasser are under no illusions that there is much work to be done in order to hit their loft goals. “Our product isn’t yet finished or complete enough for us to reach the highest conversion rates," he admits. "That's why we will invest more in operations, support and, of course, product.”
Initially launched in Egypt in 2017 - the same year that Omar was deservedly named in Startup Scene’s 25 Under 25 list - Odiggo quickly found popularity via its web platform and app, gaining 2,000 customers in its first seven months. No one can doubt that these are impressive numbers, but no one - not even the Omar and Nasser - could have predicted where Odiggo would be less than five years on. Before the August investment, the startup was experiencing 40% month-over-month growth and has increased its revenue twelve-fold when compared to this time last year. Never ones to rest on their laurels, however, Omar and Nasser are taking this as an opportunity, not a reason to celebrate quite yet.
“We’re currently raising a new round to expand and operate in new cities and build more channels for ease of accessibility to the marketplace for users,” Nasser explains. “We’re also pushing IoT solutions for our B2B business model, which can potentially help companies save millions of dollars on vehicle run-time and cut costs on vehicle down-time.”
Not bad for a startup that ran out of funding in the middle of the corona crisis, no?
Learn more about Odiggo here.
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