Yassir and the pioneering of the Algerian startup ecosystem
Algerian-bred, Silicon Valley-trained Nourredine Tayebi is seeking to create the largest African tech company ever by replicating a well-known model.
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The story of Yassir, which recently became Algeria’s most funded startup ever following its $150M Series B, starts with one man: Nourredine Tayebi. Born in Algiers, young Nourredine chose the unorthodox path of pursuing higher education in the US rather than in France, the common standard for bright Algerian students. The move would result in a Masters at the University of Champagne-Illinois, followed by a PhD at Stanford.
The engineer’s talents would land him a job at Intel, the 15-year stint engraining Silicon Valley’s fundamentals into his mind. He put those teachings to work in 2014 when he founded Insense, which specialized in motion nano-sensors.
On top of his day job, he started mentoring North African founders and getting to know the region’s embryonic startup scene, a rarity for an ecosystem that sees relatively sparse diaspora engagement compared to others such as Pakistan. His observations yielded multiple conclusions, which eventually coalesced into the founding of Yassir alongside business partner Mahdi Yettou.