WeDeliver, a Riyadh-based crowdsourced delivery platform, has raised $2.4 million as it seeks to tap into the pandemic-induced delivery boom and enter new markets.
The start-up, which connects businesses with delivery needs to individual drivers, raised new funds from Palestine telecoms group Paltel, the Mutasami family fund, Arcom Technologies and various angel investors from management consulting companies.
In the next few months, WeDeliver will use the funding to expand its operations in various countries in the Middle East and North Africa region, founders of the start-up said.
“Our business is meeting the region’s needs for quick deliveries which surged during the pandemic,” Ahmad Ramahi, WeDeliver’s chief executive and co-founder, said.
“Our asset-light collaborative model is likely to disrupt intra-city logistics, enabling faster, more efficient and low-cost delivery for businesses and online customers.”
The coronavirus pandemic has led to an increased demand for last-mile deliveries as businesses digitise to keep up with changing consumer habits. The autonomous last-mile delivery market in the Middle East and Africa is likely to witness its revenue growing at a compound annual growth rate of 18.48 per cent between 2021 and 2028, according to a report by Researchandmarkets.com.
Founded in April last year, WeDeliver has also opened offices in Jeddah and Dammam within the past few months.
The start-up uses technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning to connect businesses that have parcels to be delivered with freelance drivers though a mobile app.
It does not employ any drivers or own any warehouses.
Using WeDeliver application, businesses can request a driver and have their package delivered anywhere in the kingdom. It also offers all parties in the delivery process real-time tracking updates to keep up with the status and location of the items.
“With the new funds, we will improve the automation of our operations, in addition to building our own data warehouse,” Mohammad Abu Kwaik, chief technology officer and co-founder of the company, said.
“There is huge demand for technology skills in the Mena region … at least 45 per cent of our overall staff will be technology specialists by the end of 2021.”
WeDeliver reduces the overall delivery costs by using crowdsourced freelance drivers and under-utilised warehouses for storage.
It has tripled its revenues in the past three months and achieved double-digit growth rates every month since its launch, the company said.
“We are pleased to support economic growth in the region by providing a new type of delivery service that is low-priced, reliable, easy-to-order, with tech-driven tracking, verified drivers, transparent pricing and customer support,” Nasser Almaawi, chief commercial officer and co-founder of the company, said.
The start-up, which oversubscribed its pre-seed round, is eager to partner with “strategic institutional and individual investors” who can add value beyond capital and support its expansion plans.
WeDeliver’s funding round is the largest pre-seed round for a Saudi Arabian start-up and the third-largest in the Mena region, the start-up said.