A unit of Kuwait-based Agility, one of the largest logistics companies in the Middle East, has invested in India's last-mile delivery aggregator and order management platform Shiprocket.
The investment by Agility Ventures, the company's corporate venture capital arm, was used to help the New Delhi-based company to expand in the Middle East, Agility said in a statement on Monday.
The investment is part of Agility’s strategy to expand in digital logistics and e-commerce across high-growth markets through in-house development, acquisitions and investment in start-ups, said Henadi Al-Saleh, Agility chairwoman and head of Agility Ventures.
Shiprocket has the “first-mover advantage” in India’s potentially enormous e-commerce market and has built successful products for which there is a growing appetite in the Middle East and North Africa, including post-checkout services for smaller digital sellers, she said.
The Indian company's products solve logistics problems for business customers as they scale and also address demand in the business-to-consumer (B2C) e-commerce sector by offering customers a seamless post-checkout experience that includes delivery, Ms Al-Saleh said.
Agility Ventures has invested in e-commerce companies in the US, India, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Among them are Bread, Eunimart, ExpandCart and Zid.
Agility’s Shipa e-Commerce and Shipa Delivery companies operate in cross-border e-commerce and delivery services in the Gulf. Shipa Freight and iContainers, also owned by Agility, offer instant online air and ocean freight bookings and tools for small businesses to manage logistics.
Shiprocket has attracted investment from several global and Indian venture capital companies and e-commerce service providers since it was formed in 2017.
The company aims to simplify last-mile delivery by consolidating invoices, offering more affordable prices, and locating the fastest and most reliable couriers.
Its fulfilment service manages the storage, collection and packing of merchants’ goods across India.
Shiprocket also offers integration with Amazon, Shopify, Magento and other marketplaces and sellers.
“The Middle East is a key market for Shiprocket and we are working towards providing the best technology solutions for e-commerce sellers, D2C [direct to consumer] brands and SMEs [small and medium enterprises] in the region via our Shiprocket Direct and Wigzo platforms," said Akshay Ghulati, co-founder of Shiprocket.
More than 250,000 sellers use Shiprocket's service, generating sales of more than $1.5bn annually on the platform, according to the statement. It delivers parcels to more than 66 million consumers annually.