Technology start-up swftbox raised $2 million in a seed funding round as the UAE-based company aims to scale up its services across the region.
The investment round was led by the London-based Mena Technology Fund, with the participation of other investors including Polymath Ventures, AirAngels, Ithraa Investment Company and various strategic investors from the US, the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Europe.
Established in June 2020, the Abu Dhabi-based Hub71 company is a same-day delivery platform powered by artificial intelligence. The platform works with e-commerce retailers and courier companies.
The company will use the new capital to accelerate technology development to further enhance user experience and automation, boost margins and grow its customer base in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, co-founder and chief executive Mohammad Absi-Halabi said.
“We built Swftbox with user experience top of mind. Whether it is the shopper, retailer, courier company or driver, experience is what creates the most value for them in both the short and long terms,” Mr Absi-Halabi said.
“We carefully designed all touch points from the ground up. We automated redundant processes to reduce human error, built smart algorithms to solve complex sorting and routing problems and added an intuitive interface to simplify user experience.”
The platform uses proprietary algorithms to optimise routes and automate operations to boost service levels, increase transparency and bolster profitability for retailers and courier companies.
Its technology bridges communication gaps between retailers, couriers and shoppers to create a seamless shopping journey and improve operational accuracy.
“Swftbox is changing the logistics landscape in the Middle East by offering an AI-based platform localised for businesses that need this service to grow,” said Mena Technology Fund co-founder Omar Hassan.
“In a short time, they have doubled the number of partners, showing the massive potential for this sector in the region … [we] believe that the swftbox team has the vision and drive to lead the company into its next big milestone in this region and beyond.”
The venture capital ecosystem in the Mena region is growing amid the boom in start-ups, particularly in sectors such as technology and digitisation.
Venture capital funding for start-ups in the region rose 20 per cent annually to more than $2.3 billion in the first three quarters of 2022, putting it on track to potentially surpass the total investments attracted in 2021, according to a report by data platform Magnitt.
Egypt, the UAE and Saudi Arabia retained the top three positions in terms of both funding value and number of deals, capturing more than 75 per cent of overall Mena investments, it said.
“The team at swftbox has demonstrated consistent execution and growth, capturing market share by solving problems differently in the legacy logistics and delivery space — a space we believe will grow exponentially with the continued shift of consumer behaviour towards online shopping,” Polymath Ventures managing director Ali Hashemi said.