Star Tech: Quiqup puts e-shoppers at the centre of a delivery experience

It brings the human touch to an industry that lacks it and simplifies the complexity of logistics through its easy-to-use platform and friendly team members


Joydeep Sengupta

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Published: Sat 12 Nov 2022, 7:36 PM

In 2014, a delivery service that was born out of an apartment in London saw a unique e-commerce opportunity.

Initially, it was launched as a delivery service for consumers in the global city, where the space was increasingly getting crowded with food delivery players.

So, the brains behind the start-up decided to pivot away to focus on powering e-commerce businesses in becoming more competitive with their offerings by delivering a more shopper-centric experience, which is an artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled platform built on speed and convenience. That’s the genesis of Quiqup, which loosely means 'quick urban services'.

Bassel El Koussa, co-founder and CEO, Quiqup — and an “entrepreneur by chance” — weighed in on one of the fastest-growing last-mile delivery companies in the UAE.

“When pivoting into the new model we saw the UAE as the perfect market, and we backed ourselves with the right intent while shifting gears and continent. The nascent e-commerce ecosystem in 2018 and the innovative mindset of society in this young nation made for a perfect fit to launch this business where we can help in shaping the future of a sector that was on the precipice of rapid growth, despite the unforeseen Covid-19 challenges,” said El Koussa, who was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon.

His impeccable credentials — he had obtained a postgraduate degree in international management from SOAS University in London in 2008 and then worked for a manufacturing business in Saudi Arabia and after a couple of years, he enrolled for a degree in finance at the Imperial College in London that stood him in good stead to join the venture capital industry.

The four-year stint in the supply chain management sector has come in handy for El Koussa.

“At the outset, the funding was done by my three other co-founders and me and was bootstrapped for a while. Later, the company raised a Series A round from institutional investors such as JOBI Capital and Delivery Hero. The company went on to raise a pre-series B round, focussed on enabling the pivot of the business, from more institutional investors such as IFA Capital, Transmed, B8 Ventures as well as follow-on investment from existing shareholders at the time,” said El Koussa.

‘Quiqup’s first major milestone is to become a regional champion in e-commerce logistics and creating a platform for the booming sector to have a plug-and-play solution to their operations and delivery. We’ve been covering the length and breadth of the UAE since 2020 and our logical progression will be to expand to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) by next year,” he added.

The start-up has 65 employees from over 30 nationalities and 45 of them are based in Dubai and the rest are doing remote work from across the globe such as South America, Europe, Lebanon, India, and Rwanda.

Sporter, Chalhoub, The Giving Movement, Virgin, Apparel Group, Hadia Ghaleb, BEX Beauty, Peacefull and Eyewa are some of the brands that work with Quiqup.


Value proposition and product differentiators

“Quiqup is a delivery service for retailers and e-commerce businesses of all sizes. We’re focusing on delivering success for our clients in three primary areas — speed and delivery time flexibility, dedicated support at all times and a delivery experience built for shoppers,” said El Koussa.

“Quiqup offers the fastest parcel delivery option in the UAE, but also gives our customers the flexibility to choose from various delivery timing options depending on how they would like to design their proposition,” he added.

The start-up brings the human touch to an industry that lacks it and simplifies the complexity of logistics through their easy-to-use platform and friendly team members.

“We’re offering clients a dedicated account manager on call to help them grow and a live support team ready to respond 24x7,” said El Koussa.

“We’ve all experienced the pain of getting multiple phone calls when receiving a parcel or missing the delivery altogether. Quiqup aims to put a shopper at the centre of a delivery experience, keep him/her aware of what is happening at any point of time and further design the experience around customer convenience and satisfaction to drive the repurchase rate,” he added.


The other brains behind the start-up

El Koussa is fortunate to be joined by other like-minded co-founders — Danny Hawkins, Chief Technology Officer (CTO); Tim Linssen, Head of Product; and Federico Ferraro, Head of Product Design.

Hawkins, a Britisher, has worked in technology for over 20 years. Prior to Quiqup, he worked in various capacities in the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Justice, a high frequency gaming platform and an investor/incubator building software, which is used in Formula-1 (F-1) racing. He has a passion for engineering and continuously evolving with the best technology to unlock maximum potential in product development.

Linssen, a Dutch, has worked in warehouse automation across Europe for clients such as SSI Schaefer, Unilever, P&G, Nedcon. He has gained valuable insights into how to run highly efficient logistics operations. Later, he moved to WPS Challenger as a product manager and researcher for a F-1 second screen application and a personal data store business.

Ferraro, an Italian, graduated in multimedia with a double specialisation in marketing and production during which he gained experience in developing multimedia projects for businesses. He started his career at a venture capital as a market and product researcher. He has gained a passion for experience design and working closely with the engineers and product teams to bridge the gap between the product and user experience.

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