Investments

Dubai’s Zip24 raises $1.2 million for its logistics SaaS products

Zip24, a Dubai-based logistics SaaS startup has raised $1.2 million in a round led by UK’s Sturgeon Capital, it told MENAbytes today. The deal also included the participation of Hayaat Group, Teqvisory, Robert Kay, and some other angel investors from the region and United Kingdom.

Founded earlier this year by former Amazon (MENA) executives Muzaffar Karabaev and Asif Keshodia, Zip24 currently offers two products; Shipox, a delivery management software, and Storfox, a warehouse management system. The startup already serves over 100 ecommerce merchants, retailers, logistics services, FMCG companies, and restaurants, in over 20 countries.

Its co-founders come with extensive experience in ecommerce and logistics. Muzaffar is a serial entrepreneur who has founded and led internet businesses in Uzbekistan, United Kingdom, and the United Arab Emirates. Prior to starting Zip24, he was the CEO of Wing, an on-demand ecommerce logistics startup that he had co-founded in 2016. Wing was acquired by Amazon MENA (known as Souq.com at the time) in late 2017. Asif Keshodia was previously the Group CFO of Souq.com and Regional Finance Director of Amazon MENA (after Souq’s acquisition by Amazon).

The two have spent a considerable amount of time working closely with merchants and other stakeholders of the regional ecommerce ecosystem, and understand their pain points. To address the issues around logistics, they teamed up to start Zip24.

“With our product suite from fulfillment to the last mile, we will ultimately enable our customers to help any e-commerce & on-demand delivery business to become more agile. We have already helped our customers to fulfill and deliver millions of orders over the past 12 months,” started Zip24’s co-founder and CEO Muzaffar Karabaev in a statement. “We aim to become the leading logistics technology enabler for our customers in the next phase of our growth.”

Asif Keshodia, the co-founder and Executive Chairman of Zip24 said, “Our mission is to provide innovative and fast deployable logistics SaaS stacks to ecommerce merchants, logistics operators, and other customers. We help these customers to improve their experience and to achieve operational cost efficiencies.”

“With our tech, they reduce their dependence on expensive delivery and fulfillment service providers, which sometimes take away a third of the revenues from their merchants. You name it – predictive forecasting with AI/ML tools, route optimization, and cross-border tracking. Our solution can do it all, and at a fraction of the cost of their existing service providers. We are in the business of saving our customers’ revenues,” he added.

Shipox, Zip24’s delivery management software comes with a white-label website (for team and customers), a white-label driver app, and real-time tracking of drivers and vehicles. How it works is that the business integrates it with POS to share order information, dispatch jobs to drivers as they receive orders, have drivers view and accept jobs, access optimized routes, and deliver the orders. The businesses can track the order status throughout this process and send alerts to customers at the completion of different steps. They can also request customers to submit feedback and access different types of reports from the dashboard.

The online software can be integrated using API or its ready-to-use plugins for Shopify, Magento, WordPress, and Opencart. It’s free for businesses with up to 150 monthly orders and uses a cost-per-order model to charge paying customers. A business with 1,000 monthly orders, according to the pricing information available on its website, pays $100 per month. The price keeps going down as the volume increases. For 100,000 monthly orders, for example, Shipox charges a monthly fee of $3,000.

Storfox, Zip24’s second product helps businesses – including online retailers, marketplaces, offline retailers, and third-party logistics companies, manage their warehouse, supply, inventory, and fulfillment. It comes with account management system, invoicing, and integration with Shipox for shipping. The pricing is not available but apparently like Shipox, Storfox also has both free and paid tiers.

Zip24 plans to use the funds to enhance its product and tech and expand its sales and marketing team, mainly in its operating base in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. It also plans to have an on-the-ground presence in the United Kingdom by the end of the year to support its direct sales there.

Kiyan Zandiyeh, CEO Sturgeon Capital, said, ” Sturgeon is proud to be leading this round for zip24. We find the combination of a founding team of seasoned entrepreneurs and operators tackling an important issue in underserved and increasingly large markets, to make the opportunity particularly compelling, and are very much looking forward to working with the company.”

Zubair Naeem Paracha
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