Noon.com could be trying to best souq.com by delivering on the goods
When it comes to shopping online and driving a wedge between competitors, it’s not enough for e-commerce companies to have the best product deals, the most variety and the least complicated, most secure payment methods.
If the products ordered don’t arrive on time, intact, at the lowest handling costs possible, then the consumer will look elsewhere.
With Christmas just around the corner, venture capital firm Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) announced in a recent statement it has invested in Dubai-based One Click Delivery Services, a last-mile delivery startup.
In a statement, MEVP clarified the following:
“MEVP’s investment professionals identify opportunities for investment and follow a rigorous and independent assessment process for each potential opportunity. Furthermore, MEVP has a carefully selected independent investment committee that is not controlled by management to approve or reject investment opportunities. While Mr. Alabbar owns a non-controlling stake, MEVP will continue to manage and operate the funds independently to deliver value to partners and stakeholders. As a matter of policy, MEVP invests in tech companies with attractive growth potential in new media, ecommerce/marketplaces, fintech, healthtech, edutech, travel and logistics based on a very careful and rigorous process. MEVFIII is currently investing in high-growth potential companies and after months of assessment and investigation, OneClick fit MEVP’s investment criteria. This investment is not related to Alabbar’s e-commerce venture.
Regardless, MEVP is a strategic partner with noon.com’s Mohammed Alabbar chairman of Emaar Properties, and last mile delivery challenges such as minimizing cost, ensuring transparency, and increasing efficiency, are benefits that noon could make use of.
“We believe that winning in the last-mile delivery space will require strong technology coupled with exceptional operational capabilities, that can make on-demand last-mile logistics economically viable,” said Walid Mansour, Partner and Chief Investment Officer at MEVP.
What is One Click?
Founded in 2015, One Click’s platform connects drivers, point-of-sale capabilities and a call center with businesses needing on-demand delivery.
According to a company press release, it has delivered over 1 million orders for businesses in areas such as food delivery, apparel, e-commerce, groceries and parcel delivery.
“I am really excited about what we are building; we are solving the ‘last-mile’ logistics problem by providing a technology-enabled ecosystem solution, that connects businesses and drivers to a cloud platform, enabling smoother and seamless operations,” said Hassan Hallas, One Click’s CEO.
One Click aims to capitalize on the funds’ injection to accelerate growth of team, market and develop proprietary technology.
Souq at your door
In September 2017, Souq.com acquired the Dubai-based startup Wing.ae, a marketplace for merchants and couriers in the UAE, providing innovative mobile and web-based user-friendly delivery solutions for businesses and individual consumers.
Last-mile delivery was very much on the minds of Souq investors, Amazon, at the time, when the company in 2016 invested in Wing.ae and announced it would acquire 100% of the company.
“Wing.ae provides Souq customers with more convenience for their same and next day delivery,” said Souq’s CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar, at the time.
The company in October 2016 announced it made another investment in InstaShop, an online grocery ordering app, thus expanding the offering in F&B categories.
InstaShop available both through Android and iOS, brings groceries to customers’ doorstep in 30 minutes or less.
Mouchawar commented then: “Millennials are leading the online grocery shopping revolution across many parts of the world. We will also be empowering the business with access to Souq.com’s customer base and technology.”
MEVP support for ICT and services sectors
MEVP’s recent investment since was the first since September 2017, when it launched the $250 million MEVFIII, which is dedicated to identifying and funding early and growth-stage technology companies in the MENA and Turkey.
Walid Hanna, MEVP Founder and CEO, said at the time “It will help accelerate the growth of the venture capital ecosystem in meeting the growing demand for technology products and services.”
That launch followed the announcement in May 2017 that Alabbar and MEVP entered a partnership to create one of the leading venture capital investment platforms in the region.
In 2010, MEVP launched a $10m fund to support ICT companies with a focus on consumer services, and later in 2013 launched a $7.3m fund for ICT companies with a focus on retail and F&B, then in 2014 announced a $70M for ICT companies and creative industries.
Finally in 2015, a $32m fund was created dedicated to communication companies in the MENA.