3 million rides booked and completed in less than a year. Impressive.
Remember that advert featuring shaabi showman, Mahmoud El Leithy, driving through narrow Cairo streets in a tuk-tuk, singing like there’s no tomorrow? Well, almost one year on, the subject of the ad, local ride-hailing app Halan, has exceeded all expectations in growing to be one of the most successful startups in the country, offering on-demand ride-hailing for two-and-three-wheeled vehicles.
Remarkably clocking over 3 million trips in its first year, the app’s coverage has also expanded to include more of Egypt’s governorates and now even serves parts of Sudan. The app was born as a result of how CEO Mounir Nakhla and CTO Ahmed Mohsen identified a significant gap in the market. Joining 10 months later as co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer was Mohamed Aboulnaga and Dina Ghabbour as Chief Marketing Officer. As for their investors, the list includes Battery Road Digital Holding and Algebra Ventures.Now, we’ve seen several ride-hailing apps try (and fail) to break the dominance of the ‘big two’, but Halan hasn’t tried to do that, instead offering a service and price-point that serves a different segment of Egyptians, who mostly live on the outskirts of Cairo and all over the country. As it stands, the app has been downloaded over 500,000 times within a year and stands as number 1 on App Annie.
Halan CEO, Mounir Nakhla said: "I launched Halan to solve a real problem, to serve a real need in the market. While other people were looking at informal and rural communities as spaces full of challenges and poverty, my experience with micro-finance in underserved markets showed me how much wealth and opportunity there is."
"Halan is a technology solution that is built to put people first and improve their livelihoods. All over the country, it moves people and goods safely, efficiently, and economically and generates thousands of jobs. We will use this round of funding to expand to more cities and more countries, offer more services, and to build better technology."
Where Halan goes from here is to be seen, but they’ve seemingly struck gold with what is a simple, familiar idea – but one that has been readjusted and reimagined for an Egyptian customer that is rarely catered to.
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