The ride-sharing trend has changed the landscape of shared mobility by catering to the needs of consumers for convenient, quick and cost-effective transportation. Mimicking the conventional taxis, ride-hailing connects drivers and riders by an app that serves many other purposes too.
Uber is a popular ride-hailing app but there are many other companies that exist across the world. One such small challenger is Paris-based Heetch. Founded in 2013 by Jacob Mathieu and Teddy Pellerin, it operates in France and French-speaking Africa.
Raises €34M funding
In a recent development, French ride-sharing platform Heetch raised $38 million (nearly €34 million) Series B funding led by Cathay Innovation and Total Ventures along with participation from existing shareholders such as Felix Capital, Innov’Allianz, Alven, Via-ID and Idinvest Partners. With this investment, the overall funding raised by the company comes to $70 million (nearly €62 million) and its valuation is around $150 million (nearly €133 million).
The investment will be used by the company to expand to more markets. It already exists in France, Morocco, Belgium and Ivory Coast. And, it is in plans tap into Senegal, Cameroon and Algeria later this year. Also, it will use the funding to hire engineers in Paris.
Solves problems for commuters
Back when Heetch was started, there were no taxi providers or public transportation the outskirts and suburbs of Paris. It took a casual approach to solve the problems faced by commuters. The whole idea of Heetch was to provide a service that is peer-to-peer by bringing drivers of the same age as riders. This idea became viral among users (at least millennials) but not among other regulators who shut down the service claiming it did not use licensed drivers.
At the same time, it raised funding from Felix Capital that helped Heetch rebuild itself with a refocus to work with professional drivers. Also, it brought some traits that made it stand out from other services such as Uber and Prive (rebranded Kapten) in France. It continued to serve young users and driving to areas that others would not provide service to. It charged a smaller cut from the drivers to make them stick to Heetch.
Having started as a company that violated local regulations, Heetch is all set to become profitable now due to its model that is tailored to meet regulatory requirements in all the markets where it operates. These requirements include working with professional drivers or painting cars in a specific color. Interestingly, its biggest market is Paris and the second largest one is Casablanca in Morocco followed by Brussels in Belgium.
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