Heetch, a Paris-based high-growth ride-sharing platform has raised $38m in a Series B funding round to expand across France and French-speaking Africa, eyeing expansion in Ivory Coast, Algeria, Cameroon and Senegal.
The round was led by Cathay Innovation and Total Ventures alongside the renewed participation from existing shareholders Idinvest Partners, Innov’Allianz, Alven, Felix Capital, and Via-ID.
Live in France, Belgium, Morocco, Ivory Coast, the firm plans to expand in Algeria, Cameroon and Senegal this year. With this $38 million fundraising, Heetch intends to strengthen its technical teams and accelerate its development in Europe and Africa.
“Heetch is highly differentiated in the French ride-sharing market. For a lot of drivers, mobility platforms are distant and impersonal. We stand for the opposite. Heetch is an open and people-centric platform: all drivers can meet us and get in touch with me directly. This is important, because platforms and drivers appear to be foes while there is so much we ought to achieve together. The market is currently not structured in favor of ride-sharing drivers who still have a lot of constraints compared to taxis. It is imperative that we emerge from this opposition, that we work together to create a healthy market that allows everyone to have rewarding careers”, said Teddy Pellerin, co-founder of Heetch.
Heetch operates in 9 cities in France (Paris, Lyon, Lille, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Nantes) where it is already one of the top 3 players.
Heetch is the favorite brand among 18-30 year olds because of its experience-based, lifestyle approach to their urban transportation needs. Beyond getting them from point A to B, a ride with Heetch is an enjoyable part of their day.
Just over a year ago, Heetch launched its operations in Casablanca, Morocco, in partnership with the country’s major taxi unions. Heetch has already become the market leader, establishing itself as the only legal ride-sharing app in the country and is now active in all the major cities (Rabat, Marrakech, etc.).
“The Maghreb and French-speaking Central and West Africa represent major opportunities for Heetch. In fast-growing cities with limited public transport infrastructure, our service can greatly improve mobility for city dwellers. Given our background, we have a competitive advantage in understanding local cultures and specificities. Yet, we always prefer to partner with a local entrepreneur to create a business that is partly French and partly local,” explains Teddy Pellerin.
Heetch is also about to launch in Algiers, Algeria, this summer. In Central and West Africa, Heetch has chosen the Ivory Coast (Abidjan) as the first test country and plans to launch in Cameroon and Senegal by the end of 2019.
Cathay Innovation has also invested in Drivy-Getaround, Momenta, Glovo, and OnTruck.