British logistics company, Quiqup has announced a strategic funding round of £10mn to drive expansion across the MENA region. Quiqup is building a decentralised, artificial intelligence (AI) powered last-mile logistics infrastructure to power same-day delivery services for retailers and restaurants of all sizes and across all industries in the MENA region.
The funding round is being led by existing investor JOBI Capital, with participation from strategic investor Cedar Mundi Ventures, the Beirut-based VC firm part of Kuwait Holding group. Quiqup will build on its current operations in Dubai to expand into two cities in the GCC, with others to follow. To support its regional expansion, Quiqup will set up its regional tech hub in Beirut with a development team drawing on the existing local tech-savvy and cost-efficient talents.
Quiqup’s services were launched in the region in September 2017, with its expansion into Dubai seeing tremendous success and levels of growth delivered well ahead of expectations. The company continues to see double-digit growth, with a long list of over 125 clients including some of the region, and the world’s, best known brands.
“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,” says Dani El-Zein, general manager of Quiqup UAE.
There are a number of factors that make expansion into the region very attractive. E-commerce in the region is in its early stages compared with the rest of the world, and growth rates of e-commerce are 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 lack of legacy delivery infrastructure also makes the region a very attractive opportunity for a tech-enabled scale-up building a decentralised, AI powered last-mile logistics infrastructure. The presence of legacy infrastructure in Europe and the United States 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. This is fueling quicker adoption of Quiqup services in the region. Retailers and restaurants are leapfrogging antiquated models that dominate in Europe and the US to arrive at delivery solutions that are fast and convenient, and will serve as a model for the rest of the world.
“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,” adds Bassel El Koussa, CEO and co-founder of Quiqup. “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.”