A UAE-based heavy equipment rental marketplace for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Tenderd, has announced the region's largest seed funding round yet, worth $5.8 million.

In a statement, Tenderd announced that the funding round was led by seed capital firm Y Combinator and early-stage VC firm BECO Capital, but other big names were also involved, including Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and a director at Facebook; Paul Graham, co-founder of Y Combinator; and Justin Mateen, co-founder of Tinder.

Arjun Mohan, the founder of Tenderd, launched the start-up just under 12 months ago, having personally faced the problem of finding equipment for his family’s construction business. He joined Y Combinator shortly afterwards and became only the second start-up from the region to be part of the accelerator programme.

“The construction industry has always lagged in adopting technology. However, our clients are increasingly more receptive to solutions that will help increase productivity and reduce capital investments. Our goal is to combine the efficiencies of a marketplace with the latest technologies to help them better compete,” said Arjun.

Tenderd aims to use the seed capital to streamline the equipment rental process and expand into neighbouring strategic markets.

“It is very exciting to see a company from the MENA region taking on a world-class challenge head-on. Arjun and the team at Tenderd are ambitious dreamers and capable executors, the make-up of a great team,” said Yousef Hammad of BECO Capital.

According to UK-based global cost consultancy firm MACE, the MENA construction market will see the strongest growth globally over the next decade at 6.2 percent.

Once a contractor hires equipment from Tenderd, they have access to Tenderd’s unique tracking system powered by Artificial Intelligence to increase overall equipment productivity. It also enables them to track and regulate emissions to run equipment more sustainably. Contractors with idle equipment can also rent their equipment through Tenderd and maximize fleet utilization.

(Writing by Seban Scaria; editing by Mily Chakrabarty)

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