London-based logistics company Quiqup has announced a strategic funding round of US$12.87mn (approx. AED47.3mn) to drive expansion across the MENA region.
The company, which first launched services in Dubai in 2017, initially plans to open another hub in Dubai and a new hub in Beirut before expanding to other cities in the MENA region.
The funding round is being led by existing investor JOBI Capital, with participation from strategic investor Cedar Mundi, the Beirut based venture capital firm that is part of Kuwait Holding group.
Dani El Zein, general manager of Quiqup UAE, said, “The tremendous growth that we have seen in Dubai proves that the GCC region, and MENA more broadly, are exceptional opportunities for Quiqup. We are looking forward to building on the success that we are having in Dubai as we expand across the region.”
Bassel El Koussa, CEO and co-founder of Quiqup, said, Quiqup’s DNA is built around operating a decentralised, AI powered logistics infrastructure that allows it to deliver all types of last-mile services, from instant to same-day delivery. The opportunity in the MENA region is like nothing we see elsewhere. Just as in many parts of the world, mobile leapfrogged wired telephony or desktop computers, we see the same potential for game-changing innovation in the GCC and beyond. Our technology is second to none in the region, and our obsession with industry-leading technology and on customer experience is putting us at the forefront of innovation. We look forward to creating a last-mile infrastructure that serves as a model for the rest of the world.”
The company said in a press release that there are a number of factors that make expansion into the region very attractive.
Growth rates of e-commerce in the MENA region is among the highest in the world.
“Delivery will be fundamental to the growth of this sector, providing attractive market conditions for the expansion. Consumer expectations around service and convenient delivery are also advanced compared with the rest of the world, with a strong service culture and a spirit of innovation, driving customer and business adoption of tech-enabled, same-day delivery services,” the release stated.
There is also a lack of a “legacy delivery infrastructure” in the region. “The presence of legacy infrastructure in Europe and the US limits and slows innovation adoption. MENA region is very open to adopting new technologies from scratch, which provides an opportunity to build a last-mile logistics infrastructure that is absolutely cutting edge,” the company stated.