A three-month-old Iraqi startup, co-founded by a former employee of the US consulting firm McKinsey & Co., said it has completed what could be the largest-ever funding round in Iraq’s emerging technology sector.
Bly, which describes itself as the first super app in Iraq, offers a passenger transportation service in Baghdad and is in the process of adding new services such as food and grocery delivery.
And the agency “Bloomberg” said that the company received 10.5 million dollars in seed funding from a group of European investors led by the German “Rocket Internet”.
Bloomberg quoted a statement from Bly Inc. that the money will be used to expand the app across the country and fund other offerings, including food delivery.
“Iraq is ready for changes in the digital field, with a population of about 40 million people, and the percentage of smart phone use among people aged 17-40 years of up to more than 90 percent,” said Matteo Mantovani, managing director of Blee.
Having previously worked for nearly three years at McKinsey in the UAE, Mantovani co-founded the company with a man named Munqith Al-Azzawi, previously a consultant at Rocket Internet.
Mantovani notes that “with a large youth population, Iraq is the ideal place to revolutionize the economy through digital services.”
The bulk of startup activity in the Middle East is concentrated in the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Bloomberg says that Iraq rarely witnesses any such investment deals, although there are some slight indications of development in this sector.
And “Bali” is a colloquial expression in the Iraqi dialect, which means “yes” in Arabic.
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