Five months after its March 2016 launch, Ousta, Egypt’s first local ride sharing app, has received a bridge investment of $1.25 million as it looks to challenge established industry stalwarts, Uber and Careem.
Although the financing is a pittance compared to the combined might of Uber and Careem, who are both incredibly active in the Egyptian ride-sharing market, the company says it can rely on its syndicate of angels and venture capitalists from Egypt and the United Arab Emirates to support the company as it pursues a much larger round of financing.
Despite its lack of cash clout, Ousta has been expanding across Egypt. The company now operates in 11 main cities and has locked in 3000 cars in the five months since launching. The bridge investment will boost car numbers to over 10,000 vehicles on the road by the end of 2016 as well as allow the app to cover the entire Egyptian map within the same time frame.
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This is one of the largest investment deals in a tech startup in Egypt. Earlier in 2016 Instabug, a startup that allows seamless bug reporting and in-app feedback for mobile apps, raised US$ 1.7 million from international investors.
Ousta is the brainchild of Nader El-Batrawi, already an entrepreneur and founder of another successful startup named Jobzella (hailed as the Middle East’s First Professional Network). El-Batrawi partnered with longtime friend and former Zone Manager of Nestlé North America, Omar Salah, to release the application on both Android and iOS platforms.
There is also Wuzzuf, the Egyptian recruiting portal that received the same amount in 2015 from a group of international investors.