DHL is expanding its eCommerce platform in Africa into 9 additional markets, bringing its total reach to 20 African countries.
DHL Africa eShop launched last month, bringing over 200 U.K. and U.S. retailers online in markets across the continent.
The platform operates using startup MallforAfrica.com’s white-label fulfillment service, Link Commerce — and payment methods include local FinTech options such as Nigeria’s Paga and Kenya’s M-Pesa. As Mall for Africa CEO Chris Folayan said at the time, “That’s what our service does. It takes care of that whole ecosystem to enable global eCommerce to exist, no matter what country you’re in.”
DHL has been a logistics partner of Mall for Africa since 2015. Last year, the companies worked together to roll out MarketPlaceAfrica.com, an online shopping website that enables select artisans to sell goods in DHL’s 220 delivery countries.
The news of DHL Africa eShop’s expansion comes one month after its main rival in the region, Jumia, went public. Launched in 2012, Jumia operates consumer retail and online service verticals in 14 African countries, raising more than $200 million in an NYSE IPO. It also became the first African unicorn startup in 2016 following a $326 funding round. The company is currently focused on growing its reach and expanding its business strategy. CEO Sacha Poignonnec said at the time, according to reports, “We’re really focused on growing our existing business, leadership position, number of sellers and consumer adoption in those markets.”
For its part, DHL declined to comment on its competition with Jumia.
“DHL’s growth expansion has always been centered around satisfying our customers’ wants… Africa eShop will be no different,” DHL spokesperson Megan Roper told reporters.
In the meantime, VC investors are looking for ways to break into Africa’s growing consumer markets, with McKinsey & Company estimating that consumer spending on the continent will reach $2.1 trillion by 2025, with eCommerce making up to 10 percent.