Thanks to the rapid investments, launches, as well as the meetings that took place over the last 30 days, November 2016 could be considered as the cusp for UAE’s unfledged e-commerce section.
The billionaire chairman of Emaar Properties, Mohamed Alabbar, is a man who has been acquiring some initial experience in retail, has become the reason behind all of these investments, thanks to his new motto, “you’re digital or you die”. Mohamed Alabbar announced the launch of Yoox Net-a-Portrer (YNAP) on Monday, for those wondering, YNAP is basically a luxury e-commerce platform for the Middle East, the launch was the result of a deal closed on WhatsApp.
It also became known that Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund was looking into buying a stake in Adeptio, the famous investment group that is being led by Mohamed Alabbar, the investment group made an impressive US$2.4 billion deal back in June in order to get the control of Kuwait Food Co, that is also known as Americana. The Middle Eastern fast food franchises of KFC and Pizza Hut are owned by this company, and it is also known for producing some of the branded consumer foods.
All of this took place after Mohamed Alabbar announced a $1bn venture with PIF known as Noon.com. The reason behind this platform is to stand up next to Amazon with an impressive number of 20 million estimated products, the platform may go global, however, as for now, it’s focusing on UAE and Saudi Arabia upon its launch in January. As per Mohamed Alabbar, food could also be a part of Noon.com, and considering the deal with Americana, it all falls into place.
In terms of logistics, both YNAP, Noon will have some sort of synergy – Mr. Alabbar lead both syndicates that bought around 16.45 percent of Aramex for an estimated price of $250 million back in July, earlier this year.
While it may seem that Mr Alabbar along with his investors are positioned very strategically, the actual fight for taking the e-commerce crown of the region won’t be an easy task.
Souq.com, which happens to have a command of 78 percent of the entire e-commerce traffic is also looking for a new major investment.
Souq.com is also approaching the services of Goldman Sachs in order to help the platform get rid of a 30 percent venture which has an estimated value of $300 million. As per the information, it has been said that there was another larger venture up for sale provided the right price can be achieved.
Suitors consisted of online as well as offline retailers, ranging from regional as well as international groups.
Last month, Souq.com’s local warehouse and fulfilment centre was visited by Amazon.com’s M&A team.