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Souq.com invests in grocery app InstaShop

Souq.com invests in grocery app InstaShop

Souq said it planned to boost its grocery and FMCG business

Middle Eastern online marketplace Souq.com has announced an investment in online grocery ordering app InstaShop.

Souq.com did not disclose the size of the deal but said it had taken a “significant stake” in the company as a strategic investor.

The InstaShop app is available through Android and iOS and allows users to have groceries delivered to their door in as little as 30 minutes.

“InstaShop has a strong concept and platform in its own right, but by utilising our leading logistics app, it is looking to further grow its presence in Dubai and the other emirates. We will also be empowering the business with access to Souq.com’s customer base and technology,” said Souq co-founder and CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar.

The e-commerce site said the investment would help it expand its offering in the fast moving consumer goods and grocery segments in light of growing online spending.

Investment bank Morgan Stanley estimates 34 per cent of shoppers buy groceries online this year compared to 21 per cent in 2015.

Souq.com has also recently invested in courier service Wing.ae and service provider marketplace Helpbit.com.

“InstaShop and our other recent investments will open new growth opportunities for us in the region and will help us to take Souq.com to the next level by consistently growing fast and expanding our Souq.com franchise in the region,” said Souq CFO Asif Keshodia.

Earlier this year, Souq.com announced it had raised more than Dhs1bn ($275m) in funding from existing investors Tiger Global Management and Naspers Ltd, new entrants Standard Chartered Private Equity, World Bank member IFC, Baillie Gifford and several reputable regional and tech-focused financial institutions.

The round is believed to have made the company the Middle East’s first unicorn – a start-up company valued at more than $1bn.

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