UAE Car Rental Startup eZhire Raises Seed Funding From Jabbar Internet Group
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Dubai startup eZhire, an app that wants to change the way you rent a car, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in a round led by Jabbar Internet Group. According to a statement by the company, investors Ali Al-Salim, co-founder, Arkan Partners, and Sahm A. Yaghi, Partner, Al Jal Investors were also part of the round. With plans to utilize the funds on marketing, expansion to other UAE cities, and to upgrade their IT infrastructure, eZhire aims to scale operations as an on-demand car rental app connecting renters to car rental companies. eZhire believes this model (of partnering with car rental companies) allows the startup “to operate somewhere in-between an old-school car rental company and a peer-to-peer [tech] service.”
“Jabbar Internet Group has a history and experience in investing in success stories,” notes Hassan J. Saduzai, co-founder and CEO, eZhire. “Aligning with them has put us on the map; their experience and guidance will provide additional boost to eZhire,” he adds. Saduzai says that Jabbar Group’s reputation, and the “humble and very understanding attitude” they have towards portfolio entrepreneurs, excites him about the association. As for the investors, Samih Toukan, Chairman, Jabbar Internet Group, says in a statement: "We see huge potential in eZhire, they are truly redefining the way people rent a car. They are the first of its kind in the region, people really needed an easy way to get a car, and we believe eZhire is the answer to it."
Launched in 2016 by Saduzai and co-founder Farhan Ali (also the CTO), eZhire lets you register yourself on a mobile app with required identity credentials, request a rental car of your choice, and get it delivered to you, without the conventional hassles of paperwork. Once done with your car, the user can also schedule car collection from the app, and get it picked up. “We had domain expertise in car rental, and we found it very confusing and complicated to rent a simple car. We believe that renting a car should be as simple as hiring a cab, and that's how the idea for eZhire was born,” explains Saduzai.
As for the team’s fundraising experience, Saduzai believes that the founding team’s industry expertise, and the fact that eZhire has been revenue generating from an early stage, helped open doors for them. “Within a week’s time [of sending pitches] we got positive responses. Also, we didn’t dig too deep in the negotiation process.” The entire process went on quite smoothly, with Saduzai noting that in “2-3 months, the funds were transferred eZhire's bank account.” The entrepreneur is also thankful to the support they got (and continue to get) from regional ecosystem enablers including Dubai Startup Hub and in5 Dubai (where the startup is incubated).