M&As add momentum to the UAE e-commerce space


May 16, 2017 | By RetailME Bureau

The e-commerce landscape in the UAE has seen significant momentum in the past couple of months with two major acquisitions – Amazon’s acquisition of SOUQ.com and more recently another home-grown online marketplace JadoPado.com was bought by Mohamed Alabbar-backed technology fund.

While Amazon, reportedly, acquired SOUQ.com for $600 million, JadoPado’s buyout amount remains unknown. Incidentally, Alabbar was also contending for the SOUQ.com acquisition.

Within this year the country is set to see yet another big ticket e-commerce launch, of Noon.com, backed by Alabbar in partnership with the Public Investment Fund (PIF) of Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on the acquisition, JadoPado’s founder & CEO, Omar Kassim – who is now the new CTO at Noon.com – says, “We’re incredibly excited to exit to what is fast shaping up to be the region’s most exciting digital and e-commerce play. Alabbar’s vision to make digital a cornerstone of his future strategy led us to believe that this was the right call and will help propel our business to the next level.”

“The JadoPado team will be integrated into ongoing projects such as Noon.com and will also be involved in exciting new projects across the digital spectrum in areas such as marketplaces, food commerce, payments and logistics,” Kassim shares, while adding, “I’m personally thankful to all our investors including BECO Capital and Al Bogari Holdings for believing in the JadoPado vision and helping drive our business towards a successful outcome.”

On the other hand, Alabbar has reiterated that Noon.com’s launch is imminent.

“I am pleased to confirm that Noon is on track to launch this year. Our beta programme has been very insightful, and all the feedback we received from our early customers has allowed us to test and refine our technology and fulfilment model,” he says. “Noon will lead the way in regional e-commerce. We aim to deliver a market-leading customer experience by leveraging great supplier relationships, reliable technology, robust payment systems and highly scalable fulfillment infrastructure.”

“We are establishing strategic partnerships with an extensive range of regional retailers, distributors and global brands. These partnerships will allow Noon to provide its customers with a broad catalogue of product across categories. With Noon, we aim to deliver an e-commerce platform that creates long-term economic value, is truly relevant to the region and supports its home-grown enterprises,” Alabbar continues.

The next few months will be spent on creating robust systems and processes for Noon.com, particularly vital are the numerous supply chain innovations that the team has been working on.

“Following the launch of Noon, our permanent operational base will be in Riyadh, and we are currently scaling up our resourcing and operations there. This allows us an excellent opportunity to bring into the organisation some of best new young Saudi talent working in this field,” Alabbar reveals.

On part of SOUQ.com, joining the Amazon family will enable the regional player to continue growing while working with the global behemoth to bring even more products and offerings to customers worldwide. The acquisition is expected to close this year subject to closing conditions.

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