Last-mile startup, FODEL expands across GCC
UAE-based tech startup, FODEL, has expanded its operations in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman as part of its plans to set up a base across all GCC countries, providing a suitable pick-up and drop-off solution for its clients in the region. Through its network of more than 2,000 merchants across KSA, UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman, FODEL provides comprehensive geographic coverage offering online shoppers convenience, control, flexibility and choice over their e-commerce orders.
Soumia Benturquia, CEO & Founder, FODEL, said, “The GCC’s e-commerce market has been booming and is expected to reach sales of more than $20bn by the end of this year. FODEL is supporting this growth by offering an alternative to home delivery. We have received tremendous demand from our network of clients to expand our reach across the GCC.”
The company is the region’s first last-mile delivery service based on the popular international pick-up and drop-off (PUDO) model that offers a network of pick-up locations as an alternative to home delivery. FODEL also solves a major problem for logistics and e-commerce companies by massively expanding their delivery capacity. According to industry reports, last-mile delivery failure rates range between 15 percent in the UAE to 40 percent in Saudi Arabia leading to poor customer satisfaction and lost revenue in a region where online shoppers still pay cash on delivery for a large share of their purchases. The PUDO scalable solution also improves bandwidth during peak seasons when logistics partners get overwhelmed with demand. The supply chain also benefits from the significant reduction in return to origin deliveries, an issue for shippers and e-tailers which is especially marked in the GCC.
The start-up is funded by several prominent investors and advisors including Dubai Cultiv8 Investments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SMEs, a fund from Al Rajhi family members and ex-FedEx Senior Vice President – Europe, Middle East, Africa and Indian Sub-continental, Hamdi Osman, a 33-year logistics industry veteran and a strong figure in the region’s express delivery sector.