Dubai-based eCommerce marketplace Souq.com, which was acquired by retail giant Amazon this year, recently announced that it has acquired the Middle East startup technology firm Wing.ae.
According to reports from TechCrunch, Wing.ae has been responsible for the logistics of Souq’s growth, mainly the Amazon Prime-esque delivery features for eCommerce marketplaces. Souq had previously invested in Wing.ae, and the financial terms of the acquisition have not been released.
“The UAE is a leading eCommerce and smart hub in the region, and in this demanding business we work to fill the logistics supply gaps to offer customers the excellent service they want as fast as possible,” said Muzaffar Karabev, CEO and founder of Wing.ae, in a statement reported by TechCrunch. “With the support of Souq.com, Wing will accelerate investments into our technology, infrastructure and regional coverage to provide innovative delivery solutions and to make online shopping for Souq.com customers and merchants even more convenient.”
Souq operates in the “young” eCommerce market of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, TechCrunch noted. It represents the largest eCommerce marketplace in the Middle East, with 8.4 million products in 31 categories and approximately 45 million monthly online visitors. Items for sale span baby goods, consumer electronics, fashion, health and beauty and household goods, among others.
“At Souq.com, our customers remain our key focus, and we will continue to deliver an exceptional online shopping experience,” said Ronaldo Mouchawar, Souq.com CEO and co-founder, in the statement. “Fast, dependable delivery is key to this, and Wing.ae provides Souq.com customers with more convenience for their same- and next-day delivery. With Amazon’s support, we are putting all our efforts into providing an ever-improving shopping experience for customers in the Middle East.”
The Amazon-Souq-Wing partnership comes at a time when the Middle East is seeing growth in eCommerce marketplaces. Recent introductions into the region include Wadi.com, for example, a market for consumer electronics, beauty products, jewelry and home and kitchen goods serving the UAE and Saudi Arabia; Namshi.com, an apparel site selling Western fashion to customers in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain and Kuwait; and Themodist.com, a luxury designer site catering to women who wish to dress modestly for cultural and religious reasons.
Though these companies and others attempt to compete with Amazon, Wing.ae’s technology and logistics will likely help the platform build out its immensely popular, subscription-based Prime program in the Middle East, giving Amazon a potential leg up on the competition.