Egypt-based B2B trucking marketplace Trella has secured $6 million in debt funding from ALMA Sustainable Finance (ALMA) and the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
ALMA’s borrower Trella is the fastest-growing digital freight marketplace in Pakistan and the Middle East, having facilitated over two million tons of shipments in 2021. Trella’s platform connects corporate shippers with trucking carriers across the region, driving efficiency in a highly fragmented logistics industry. ALMA and DFC’s support towards Trella will drive several development impacts including an increased income for truckers who are micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), decreased GHG emissions in logistics due to better routing, and higher load utilization. The transaction also qualifies as a “2X Challenge” investment by advancing employment opportunities for women in the logistics industry in Pakistan and the Middle East, where women are traditionally underrepresented.
“DFC is excited to support ALMA to finance growing, innovative businesses in emerging markets, especially Pakistan and Egypt. DFC recognizes that innovation and technology will be the driver to modernize operations in sectors such as logistics. We are looking forward to the economic and environmental impacts of this transaction,” said Jim Polan, Vice President of the Office of Development Credit at DFC. “Furthermore, this transaction is an example of DFC’s work and operation in Pakistan, which DFC hopes to grow in the coming years.”
The new funding will support the expansion of Trella’s platform for MSME truckers in lower-middle-income countries including Egypt and Pakistan.
Founded in 2018 by Omar Hagrass, Ali El Atrash, Pierre Saad and Muhammad El Garem, Trella is a B2B technology platform and trucking marketplace connecting shippers with carriers in real time. It has a presence in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
In June 2021, Trella completed a $42 million Series A funding round, comprising $30 million in equity and $12 million in debt facilities, to help it expand. Last month it followed that up with further, undisclosed, debt capital from Contact Financial Holding.
“With the signing of this facility, we hope to expand economic opportunities for small and medium enterprises, and sustainably improve the environmental impact of logistics operations in Pakistan,” said Reed Aeschliman, Mission Director of USAID/Pakistan.
“We are very pleased to have the support of DFC to be able to extend more capital to high-growth digital businesses such as Trella,” said Gautam Ivatury, managing partner at ALMA Sustainable Finance. “As debt lenders, we want to extend more financing in lower-middle-income countries such as Pakistan and Egypt, and having the DFC guaranty facility allows us to reach more companies in these regions and have broader development impacts.”
“Trella’s operations will benefit greatly from the additional debt financing extended by ALMA with the support of the DFC guaranty,” added Omar Hagrass, CEO of Trella. “In an industry like ours, we need new sources of capital to maintain our high-growth trajectory and reach the thousands of truckers across the region who need support to access more shipments, faster payments, and other integral services.”
ALMA’s debt financing, backed by the DFC guaranty, will support the expansion of Trella’s platform for MSME truckers in lower-middle-income countries Egypt and Pakistan, where MSMEs provide the bulk of employment but face operational challenges. The project will also benefit from technical assistance provided by both USAID/Pakistan and USAID/Egypt.