Egyptian tuk-tuk start-up Halan to expand to Ethiopia

Mounir Nakhla, founder and CEO of Halan, is seen during an interview with Reuters in Cairo, Egypt September 17, 2019. Picture taken September 17, 2019. (Reuters)
Updated 19 September 2019

Egyptian tuk-tuk start-up Halan to expand to Ethiopia

  • CEO and founder Mounir Nakhla hopes Halan will become “pan-African”
  • The company is also expanding to more cities in the Egyptian governorates

CAIRO: Halan, an Egyptian technology start-up that uses two- and three-wheeled vehicles to transport passengers and goods, will begin operating in Ethiopia before the end of 2019, its chief executive told Reuters.
The company, which targets underserved communities, is also expanding to more cities in the Egyptian governorates of Sharqeya, Daqahleya, Damietta, Qena and Gharbeya this year, said CEO and founder Mounir Nakhla.
Halan’s app allows customers to request motorbike or tuk-tuk rides, or order food or goods for delivery via motorbikes or cargo tricycles. Founded in November 2017, it already operates in around 20 to 25 cities in Egypt and Sudan.
“Halan completes a few million rides per month, almost half a million of which are in food deliveries,” Nakhla said, adding ride-hailing trips had increased 55% and food deliveries more than quadrupled in the year to date.
Nakhla, who has a background in microfinance, hopes Halan will become “pan-African” and said he saw tremendous opportunity for growth on the continent.
“Adama is a very small place in Ethiopia, about 150 km away from Addis Ababa, and it has a lot of two-wheelers and three-wheelers,” Nakhla said.
“It’s a great place to test our product in Ethiopia. We’ve already done tens of rides there in the form of testing, and we’ve got a team on board.”
The city has less than 1,000 vehicles whose drivers Halan will try to recruit to its platform “before launching countrywide,” Nakhla said.
Halan has delivery partnerships with fast food chains like McDonald’s, KFC and Pizza Hut in Egypt. It is now targeting smaller restaurants in the underserved areas it focuses on.
The app has around 10,000 active drivers per month in total, Nakhla said. He added that Egypt has around 700,000 tuk-tuks on its streets. Uber has 90,000 monthly active drivers in Egypt.
Halan is in the midst of a so-called Series B funding round, Nakhla said, declining to disclose a timeline or targeted amount.
The start-up has raised “slightly less than $20 million” to date, Nakhla said. It employs more than 100 people.
Gojek, an Indonesian ride-hailing and e-payments company, inspired Nakhla to found Halan after he met Gojek founder and CEO Nadiem Makarim in Indonesia in 2017.
When asked if Halan would eventually go public, Nakhla said: “Our current main focus is to grow the company exponentially in a sustainable manner, while adding value to the community.”


Huawei’s third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

Updated 17 October 2019

Huawei’s third-quarter revenue jumps 27% as smartphone sales surge

  • American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts
  • Huawei was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies

SHENZHEN, SHANGHAI: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd’s third-quarter revenue jumped 27%, driven by a surge in shipments of smartphones launched before a trade blacklisting by the United States expected to hammer its business.
Huawei, the world’s biggest maker of telecom network equipment and the No. 2 manufacturer of smartphones, was all but banned by the United States in May from doing business with American companies, significantly disrupting its ability to source key parts.
The company has been granted a reprieve until November, meaning it will lose access to some technology next month. Huawei has so far mainly sold smartphones that were launched before the ban.
Its newest Mate 30 smartphone — which lacks access to a licensed version of Google’s Android operating system — started sales last month.
Huawei in August said the curbs would hurt less than initially feared, but could still push its smartphone unit’s revenue lower by about $10 billion this year.
The tech giant did not break down third-quarter figures but said on Wednesday revenue for the first three quarters of the year grew 24.4% to 610.8 billion yuan.
Revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30 rose to 165.29 billion yuan ($23.28 billion) according to Reuters calculations based on previous statements from Huawei.
“Huawei’s overseas shipments bounced back quickly in the third quarter although they are yet to return to pre-US ban levels,” said Nicole Peng, vice president for mobility at consultancy Canalys.
“The Q3 result is truly impressive given the tremendous pressure the company is facing. But it is worth noting that strong shipments were driven by devices launched pre-US ban, and the long-term outlook is still dim,” she added.
The company said it has shipped 185 million smartphones so far this year. Based on the company’s previous statements and estimates from market research firm Strategy Analytics, that indicates a 29% surge in third-quarter smartphone shipments.
Still, growth in the third quarter slowed from the 39% increase the company reported in the first quarter. Huawei did not break out figures for the second quarter either, but has said revenue rose 23.2% in the first half of the year.
“Our continued strong performance in Q3 shows our customers’ trust in Huawei, our technology and services, despite the actions and unfounded allegations against us by some national governments,” Huawei spokesman Joe Kelly told Reuters.
The US government alleges Huawei is a national security risk as its equipment could be used by Beijing to spy. Huawei has repeatedly denied its products pose a security threat.
The company, which is now trying to reduce its reliance on foreign technology, said last month that it has started making 5G base stations without US components.
It is also developing its own mobile operating system as the curbs cut its access to Google’s Android operating system, though analysts are skeptical that Huawei’s Harmony system is yet a viable alternative.
Still, promotions and patriotic purchases have driven Huawei’s smartphone sales in China — surging by a nearly a third compared to a record high in the June quarter — helping it more than offset a shipments slump in the global market.