Shipsy – a trending global smart logistics management platform provider – is eyeing 200-300% growth year-on-year in the Africa market as spiralling consumerism across the 54-nation bloc is spearheading the urgent need for logistics and supply chain providers to keep up pace by modernising their processes along international best practices.
Confirming the triple-digit growth potential analysis for the nine-year-old company, Mohamed Reza, Vice-President (Marketing), Shipsy, said: “Kenya, South Africa and Egypt are currently the key focus African countries for us, but, we are also keenly looking at how the rest of the continent develops in the next few years.”
Founded as a startup in 2015, with its global headquarters located in Haryana, India, Shipsy empowers businesses to optimise, automate, track, and simplify end-to-end logistics and supply chain operations across the entire value chain.
In an exclusive interview with MENews247 at Seamless Middle East 2023 – the region’s largest digital commerce trade event – Reza said given the enormous opportunity that Africa presents in terms of requiring cutting-edge logistics solutions Shipsy is banking on newly signed on Apoorva Kumar, former Group COO of Jumia – a Pan-African technology company – to direct in an advisory capacity, Shipsy’s further foray into the lucrative Africa market.
Africa has it all
“Shipsy has seen a lot of traction in Africa in the last two years, stemming from the booming consumer-fuelled e-commerce and retail space across the continent, with a growing number of logistics and supply chain operators experimenting with and rolling out last-mile delivery operations – uncommon in Africa before – unlike in the rest of the world”, said Reza.
He added: “In particular, Kenya is a key market for us. We also have many customers in Egypt, while South Africa also holds a lot of potential for us in terms of logistics as its economy makes it an African heavyweight.”
The rising inflow of FDI into technology and logistics startups focussing on last-mile delivery to meet the growing demand of consumers patronising e-commerce platforms and requiring doorstep fulfilment of their orders are among the key factors that are resulting in the booming logistics and supply chain sectors across Africa in general, and in Kenya, South Africa and Egypt in particular, observed Reza.
Revenue in Africa’s e-commerce market is projected to reach $40.80 billion in 2023 and is expected to show a CAGR (2023-2027) of 13.53%, resulting in a projected market volume of $67.78 billion by 2027 according to the latest Statista Markets Insights report.
Rounding up the figures, the Africa [Kenya, South Africa and Egypt] market should account for roughly 5-10% of our global revenue for 2023 [the Arabian Gulf contributes 35% of the SaaS company’s annual global turnover], said Reza, adding: “We are going to invest more in Africa, including spending more time with our customers to understand and support their logistics’ requirements.”
Foray into Saudi Arabia
Having raised $25 million in a recent series B round, and, after setting up its Middle East regional office in Dubai back in 2021, Shipsy aims to invest $10 million in the region over a five-year period to grow its regional footprint, drive technology innovation and R&D. Shipsy’s customer base in the region encompasses the manufacturing, express logistics, retail, food delivery and qcommerce sectors.
Shipsy’s strategic regional expansion programme especially encompasses Saudi Arabia “as the country is striving to become the regional logistics hub by investing heavily in its logistics infrastructure”, said Reza.
Apart from unveiling a new office in Riyadh staffed by Saudis Shipsy is also demonstrating its commitment to the Saudi market by signing a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Monsha’at, the Gulf nation’s Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority. As per the MoU Shipsy is offering its in-house developed AI and ML-powered logistics solutions at concessional rates to Saudi-based SMEs affiliated to Monsha’at.
Middle East market overview
Reza noted: “Earlier, technology was just an enabler, to make logical decisions. But now, businesses across the Middle East are becoming much more discerning about the kind of technology they deploy. Companies today use AI and ML to make their decision-making more scientific and more robust in terms of looking at historical trends, etc., and then taking decisions based on the findings to improve their logistics operations. It is no longer a case of ‘let us use some tech to improve our processes’, but rather, ‘let us use tech that grows our business’.
“As tech has become the backbone of doing business efficiently companies are spending a lot of time on choosing the right tech, with AI and ML making huge inroads in optimising companies’ efficiencies. This is a clear trend that we [Shipsy] are seeing,” stated Reza.
The regional logistics and supply chain market is also growing fast, as consumer demand is leading to logistics companies being able to thrive. “Shipsy can help these companies by driving efficiency while saving cost. The market [regional] is becoming more and more competitive with foreign players coming in and providing services at one-tenth of the cost that domestic players offer,” Reza revealed.
Shipsy exhibited at Seamless Middle East 2023 (May 23-24) to showcase how the company’s “AI-based logistics management platform can help improve cost reduction, help plan manpower optimisation, make delivery operations more efficient, and reduce the overall cost of logistics operations for a business – be it a retailer, a logistics solutions provider or a manufacturer”, concluded Reza.