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Dubai tech start-up Quiqup raises $1.36 million to support its growth

Last-mile delivery services company will use loan to support its expansion across the region

Dubai tech start-up Quiqup raises $1.36 million to support its growth

Dubai-based technology start-up Quiqup received a guarantee for a loan worth Dh5 million ($1.36m) from the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) as it looks to support the growth of the “quick commerce”, or the q-commerce economy, in the UAE.

Quiqup, a q-commerce platform which offers e-commerce businesses, small and medium enterprises and larger corporations last-mile logistics services, uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to power its operations.

The guarantee from MBRIF will help Quiqup to gain access to “affordable debt finance to continuously invest in its research and development capabilities, and strengthen its innovative technology solution” as it seeks to scale up operations across the region, the company said on Monday.

“Our aim at MBRIF is to enable companies that have a strong innovative capability with the potential to contribute significantly to the UAE’s economic development,” said Fatima Al Naqbi, chief innovation officer at the Ministry of Finance and an MBRIF representative.

Q-commerce — also known as on-demand or rapid delivery — is generally defined as the ability to order goods and have them delivered within an hour. The value of the Mena region’s q-commerce market is expected to grow to about $47 billion by 2030, according to research from Redseer.

Groceries and food delivery dominate the sector, with a market share of more than 80 per cent. Adjacent sector opportunities could also help the q-commerce market to grow in value to $100bn, the report said.

“As the new economy moves towards q-commerce, 60-minute delivery will become the standard rather than the current two to three days. This will impact all categories including food, fashion, beauty and cosmetics, as brands compete to meet consumer expectations,” Quiqup said.

Quiqup, founded in London in 2014, moved its headquarters to the UAE in 2019, the same year that it closed a £10m ($13.2m) strategic funding round. It offers 60-minute delivery services through its technology and its hyper local fulfilment centres spread across the city.

“The UAE has been a fantastic market for our product and a real launch pad for Quiqup. We are excited to continue our rapid growth trajectory and look forward to developing this partnership with MBRIF further,” said Bassel El Koussa, chief executive of Quiqup.

The funding is “in line with MBRIF’s mandate to support the tech and innovation ecosystem with initiatives that will be beneficial for the country and support the environment for entrepreneurs in the UAE”, the company said.

MBRIF, an initiative set up by the UAE Ministry of Finance, unveiled the Guarantee Scheme in 2016 to provide finance to entrepreneurs.

It provides a government guarantee as a security to commercial banks and financial institutions to encourage the issuance of loans. If an entrepreneur defaults on a loan, the ministry intervenes to pay off the outstanding debt.

The UAE aims to become home to 20 start-ups valued at more than $1bn by 2031 in a bid to become a regional centre for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Last year, the country launched The Entrepreneurial Nation initiative, which aims to offer support through a series of public-private partnerships that help entrepreneurs set up operations in the UAE, expand their businesses, export their products and tap into online sales.

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