Sheraa-powered startup ‘Yalla Pickup’ picks up AED 1 million in funding

Yalla Pickup Founder Elie El Tom with team

Mobile app and web-based service aims to make transportation of goods for both businesses and individuals more efficient across the UAE

Yalla Pickup Founder Elie El Tom with team

Sharjah, UAE: ‘Yalla Pickup’, a mobile application and web-based solution to order pickup trucks to move around large consignments, has received a fresh lease of AED 1 million in funding from its strategic partner ‘The Box’, provider of self-storage and transportation of goods services in the UAE. Catering to both businesses and individual customers, Yalla Pickup allows a smartphone (both Android and iOS) or web user to transport large-sized valuable goods by booking the nearest truck from the comforts of office or home. The fledgling startup burst on to the scene when Sheraa – a launch pad for aspiring entrepreneurs in the UAE – unveiled Yalla Pickup as one of the 10 successful startups in its inaugural accelerator.

The service is now becoming fast popular in the country, with customers avoiding the hassles of searching for a safe and reliable vehicle driver to transport furniture or large objects that are purchased online, move houses or deliver a large consignment to a client. The funding comes in the wake of significant traction garnered by the digital service in a short span. Since its launch in 2016, Yalla Pickup has registered over 50 businesses and 300 individual customers. The growth trend is on the rise; the app-based business is growing by 200% month-on-month since January 2017.

Ms. Najla Al-Midfa, General Manager at Sheraa, said: “We are proud to see Yalla Pickup’s rapid rise and are confident that this startup will emerge as one of the leading innovators in UAE’s shared economy space. Sheraa’s accelerator brought to the fore some of the brightest ideas from business owners who displayed incredible promise, and Yalla Pickup’s latest funding is a mark of investor confidence. We at Sheraa will continue to support the business and provide it an empowering platform to grow, just as it was a solid foundation during its launch phase.”

Elie El Tom, Founder and CEO of Yalla Pickup, talks about the inspiration behind the service: “The shortage of a reliable and safe lorry service dawned upon me when it took me an entire day to move a crate from one place to another. With Dubai advancing towards becoming a ‘smart city’, we need to bring more businesses under the fold of efficient technology and connectivity. I felt that the days of large trucks painting their contact numbers are a thing of the past, and Yalla Pickup could fill the gap by connecting these service providers with people who need them. Think of it as ‘Careem’, but for large and valuable belongings.”  

Elie also credits Sheraa in guiding his entrepreneurial aspirations: “Being chosen as one of the graduates of Sheraa’s first accelerator program was a critical moment in Yalla Pickup’s trajectory. Meeting like-minded people, decoding a problem with the help of mentors, getting ready access to customers and being constantly motivated by a group of young visionaries who believe in you and the idea breathes life into the business. To top this all, I presented my startup to His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah on the accelerator showcase day. It is not often that a new entrepreneur gets these opportunities, but Sheraa has been an exciting avenue that has opened many doors of opportunities. “

Using Yalla Pickup

Yalla Pickup users can enter details of the pickup and drop off location using Google Maps, choose from the different types and sizes of trucks, ascertain the total estimate fare and order the nearest registered vehicle to complete the task. Clients can track transactions, check account history, generate invoices and get progress reports. Orders can be placed as both pre-scheduled and on-the-go requests, allowing customers to book with as little as 30-minutes processing time for the service and benefit from the unparalleled convenience and speed.

Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center):

Sheraa (Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center) was launched in January 2016, under the patronage of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi – Chairperson of the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) – to provide a launch pad for aspiring young entrepreneurs in the UAE. Sheraa’s state-of-the-art co-working facility is housed at the American University of Sharjah, and hosts a thriving community of students and ambitious entrepreneurs. Sheraa – ‘Sail’ in Arabic – inspires youth to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, and empowers them to navigate through the processes of launching a business, transforming them from job seekers to job creators in the United Arab Emirates and the wider region. It runs the country’s first university-based ‘accelerator’ program, offering a mentorship-driven, three-month entrepreneurship boot camp to support teams that demonstrate entrepreneurial spirit and courage. The hands-on accelerator also provides seed-funding, strategic mentorship by industry professionals and a suite of other competitive benefits. It successfully unveiled 10 startups through the inaugural flagship accelerator showcase day, which is conceived in the center’s expansive co-working space where creativity is fostered in an exuberant environment.