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Leading up to its big launch, Kuwait-based Q-commerce startup and Grocery Delivery platform Fiz has successfully raised $2.5M in its latest funding round. The Pre-SEED round was led by The Taken Seat and Relish Venture Partners, with participation from Kuwait-based angel investors.
Founded in the summer of 2021 by the team behind Bilbayt and Carriage, Fiz is positioned as a rapid grocery delivery startup aiming to deliver approximately 1,500 SKUs in 10-15 minutes. Fiz will soon be operational in multiple high-density neighborhoods in Kuwait.
Funding in the E-commerce space across MENAPT has made big strides in the past few years, growing by 230% since 2017. Over the last year, the E-commerce industry raised more than 12% of all capital deployed across MENAPT, ranking as the third most-funded industry after T&L which raised the lion’s share of investments (30%+) and FinTech. Over 2021, sizable funds have been raised by on-demand delivery startups and Q-commerce propositions across MENAPT, even in SEED and Pre-SEED stages. Q-commere startups design a mix of well-placed dark stores or fulfillment centers and integrate fleet management technologies to dispatch products in short delivery windows ranging from 30 minutes in the case of Pakistan-based Airlift to 10 minutes in many other cases like Pakistan-based Krave Mart or Egypt-based Rabbit. Q-commerce startups have taken a front seat in the E-commerce & Delivery space across MENA last year, where startups like UAE-based Yalla Market, or Egypt-based Goodsmart, and Breadfast raised major rounds last year and set the bar for the level of speed in this competitive space.
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In order for this Q-commerce offering to work, the startup has to adopt hyperlocalized approaches in choosing their fulfillment centers, the preferred choice of transportation, and the right technology to optimize and track all orders. “The model is simple, it always has been, it's all about convenience and the next frontier is the ability to deliver in no time” says Ahmad Salamah, Co-founder, and CEO. “Global players, such as Getir and GoPuff, developed the blueprint and the pandemic made it easier for consumers to shop online in the Middle East. All we needed to do was to ensure we had the right locations for our dark stores and the right catalog for our consumers”.
The Kuwait-based Q-commerce startup is building on its co-founding team’s previous experiences in fast-paced delivery in order for this proposition to scale and succeed. While Kuwait remains a conducive market for convenient commerce, Co-founder Abdullah AlMutawa highlights the synergies at play, “Partnering with Ahmad was a no brainer, his vision, and determination to crack the quick-commerce game in the Middle East was on point,” AlMutawa added, “Given our background in food delivery and being the first in the region to launch 30-minute restaurant deliveries, we know what it takes to ensure positive unit economics (particularly in suburban settings) and how favorable the Kuwait market would be as a launching pad for quick-commerce in the region”.
Fiz will be able to channel the funds into rolling out its platform, is set to launch in early 2022, and further develop its Tech stack and talent abilities. In light of this platform-boosting investment, Waleed Al-Omar Co-Founder of Relish Venture Partners commented, “We understood the opportunity and had taken a close look at the regional landscape before making our decision - this was the team to back! The team’s strategy when it comes to their dark stores; location, size, accessibility was clear and diligent, especially given the changing regulations with regards to delivery bikes on Kuwait’s highways.” Musab AlMutawa, Co-Founder of The Taken Seat concluded with high hopes for the Q-commerce ventures, “Kuwait is the best test kitchen to codify our business model before a very fast regional roll-out. We are already laying the groundwork for additional markets in the region and will have boots on the ground in early 2022.”
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