- Egypt’s Voo has rebranded to SideUp and transformed its strategy to provide a complete spectrum of e-commerce support services, including payment gateways and API integration for shipping, warehousing, fulfillment, and advisory.
- The startup has also extended to Saudi Arabia, where it will be headquartered further after raising $1.2 million in seed funding.
SideUp founder and CEO Waleed Rashed said he was inspired to link small merchants to e-commerce support after realizing big service providers ignored them.
He said there is a lot of talk about how e-commerce is scaling, but more needs to be empowering enough of those (micro, small and medium enterprises) that are selling online. Merchants need several services and a complete ecosystem to be successful.
Hence, he decided to empower small and medium businesses. SideUp is for merchants in the village or those selling products over Instagram, Facebook, or WhatsApp. They get accessibility to all the services, from the courier company, warehousing, and fulfillment, to marketing services.
Rahed first ventured into entrepreneurship in 2012, after a career in banking, when he founded Ingez, an errands company that gave him first-hand experience running an e-commerce business.
Growth of The Company
SideUp’s partner service providers enable merchants to sell in 45 countries, which Rashed said, has opened up new markets which had earlier been inaccessible by small enterprises.
SideUp currently serves 2,000 e-commerce businesses, which can also access cash collection services and credit to extend their businesses. Its portfolio has grown 30% month-on-month, achieving over $500,000 in Gross Merchandise Volume per month.
The startup plans to grow its clientele by scaling in Egypt and Saudi Arabia and expanding to at least two other countries before the end of 2023 to tap the burgeoning e-commerce sector in different regions.
According to a Mordor Intelligence report, the Middle East and African e-commerce markets are set to grow above 11.5% in the next five years, sustained by internet and smartphone penetration, mobile shopping and urbanization, and as several businesses embrace e-commerce.