Heetch raises $38 million to accelerate its expansion in France and French-speaking Africa
May 4, 2020
- Heetch, the Paris-based high-growth ride-sharing platform, has raised $38m in a Series B funding round with Cathay Innovation and Total Ventures alongside the renewed participation from existing shareholders Idinvest Partners, Innov’Allianz, Alven, Felix Capital, and Via-ID.
- Building on its local roots in the French market, where it competes mainly with international players, Heetch aims to become the leading ride-sharing platform across French-speaking countries.
- Over the past year, Heetch has accelerated its international development, particularly in Africa, and is now present in 4 countries (France, Belgium, Morocco, Ivory Coast). The company plans to expand in 3 additional countries in 2019 (Algeria, Cameroon and Senegal).
- To that end, Heetch intends to leverage its fun and alternative DNA as well as its ability to tailor its value proposition to each local market.
Paris, May 9, 2019
Heetch confirms the success of its pivot towards professional drivers as the company’s unique DNA continues to support its development in France and beyond. Heetch’s ambition is simple: becoming the leading ridesharing platform across French-speaking markets.
With this $38 million fundraising, Heetch intends to strengthen its technical teams and accelerate its development in Europe and Africa. Cathay Innovation, Idinvest Partners, Innov’Allianz, Total Ventures, Alven and Felix Capital are participating in the financing. Arma Partners acted as exclusive financial advisor in connection with the transaction.
“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.
The reasons for this success? Heetch is the favorite brand among 18-30-year olds thanks to a unique positioning that breaks the convention of traditional ride-sharing platforms. With a friendly and less formal mobility solution, Heetch appeals to the younger generations who recognize themselves in this 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.
“No one talks to their neighbor on the subway and this is unfortunate in an increasingly individualistic world. At Heetch, we want to transform the driver-passenger relationship to create space for individuals to exchange casually if they wish to do so.” added Teddy Pellerin.
The French market is currently very competitive, but Heetch has managed to grow organically and sustainably, in contrast to other players who consistently rely on discounts and subsidies.
Focus on French-speaking Africa
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.
“We are very proud to join forces with Heetch and its talented team. We are convinced of Heetch’s potential and believe in its development strategy in Europe and Africa, a region we monitor closely. Millions of Africans will be able to benefit from Heetch’s services. This investment fits perfectly with our investment thesis around mobility and complements our global portfolio in the space which includes Drivy-Getaround, Momenta, Glovo, and OnTruck,” adds Jacky Abitbol, Partner at Cathay Innovation.
With this additional growth financing raised primarily from financial investors, Heetch retains its status as the only independent player among the leading ridesharing platforms, a choice that will foster the company’s strategic flexibility and ability to seize future opportunities in the large and growing mobility market.
Heetch aims to make mobility services in large European and African cities more affordable, accessible, easy-going, and responsible. The company was launched in France in 2013 with a sharing economy mindset and set out to solve the urban transportation needs of the younger generations. Heetch pivoted successfully to a professional driver model at the beginning of 2017, with the ambition of breaking the mold of uniformity and commodity of the ride-sharing sector. The Heetch experience is less formal, you experience the journey as an enjoyable part of your day and an opportunity to interact with your driver. The experience is also more responsible, with Heetch creating a healthy and safe environment for all drivers on the platform. Heetch currently operates in France, Belgium, Morocco and Ivory Coast, with plans to launch in many more European and African cities in the near future.
For more information, visit us at www.heetch.com, on Twitter @Heetch or Facebook.
About Cathay Innovation
Cathay Innovation is a global venture capital fund, created in affiliation with Cathay Capital Private Equity. It was founded around the shared conviction that supporting digital entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform bridging 3 continents – North America, Europe and China – constitutes a particularly powerful value-creation strategy. As a multi-stage fund, Cathay Innovation partners with visionary entrepreneurs, committed to driving change through technology. Such transformation is accelerated by leveraging Cathay Capital Private Equity’s extensive network with corporates and solid experience in operational excellence. Cathay Innovation has offices in San Francisco, Paris, Beijing and Shanghai.
To learn more, please visit www.cathayinnovation.com or follow us on Twitter @Cathayinnov
Idinvest Partners is a leading European mid-market private equity firm. With €8bn under management, the firm has developed several areas of expertise including innovative startup venture capital transactions; mid-market private debt, i.e. single-tranche, senior and subordinated debt; primary and secondary investment and private equity advisory services. Founded in 1997, Idinvest Partners used to belong to the Allianz Group until 2010, when it branched out as an independent firm. In January 2018, Idinvest Partners became a subsidiary of Eurazeo, a leading global investment company, with a diversified portfolio of €17bn in assets under management, including approximately €11bn from investment partners, invested in over 350 companies.
Teddy Pellerin (CEO)
Yoann Besse – Citigate Dewe Rogerson
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