DHL has acquired a stake in Mall for Africa’s Link Commerce, in a bid to grow its logistics business in Sub-Saharan Africa and other global emerging e-commerce markets.
DHL Express did not reveal the details of the transaction but said it acquired a minority stake acquisition in Link Commerce, the UK-based e-commerce firm that helped it launch its DHL Africa eShop platform.
In a statement, Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, said, “Acquiring a stake in Link Commerce – the company behind the MallforAfrica.com platform – shows our tremendous support of e-commerce in Africa. It also positions us to realize our ambitions of growing the eShop offering globally, and work on the scalability of the platform when the opportunity arises.”
As part of the acquisition, Heymans has been made a board member of London-based Link Commerce Ltd. “We have no doubt that deepening our partnership with Link Commerce in this way will take both companies, as well as e-commerce on the continent and new markets across the globe, to new heights. I am honoured to take on this new role as part of DHL’s growth strategy.”
The DHL Africa eShop offers African consumers unprecedented access to international retailers via an easy-to-use platform, with great convenience, speed and reliability. DHL Africa eShop enables African customers to shop directly from over 200 US- and UK-based online retailers, with purchases delivered directly to their door, by DHL Express.
For DHL, this is an increase in its core logistics business especially as e-commerce is proving to be one of the most important and fastest-growing market sectors in Africa.
A report published by Rapid B2C forecasts that Africa’s online retail market will reach an 11-digit dollar value in 2020, while another report by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that this value could potentially reach $75 billion by 2025.
”DHL’s investment in Link Commerce is a perfect fit. With the DHL investment we are now able to grow faster by leveraging the amazing shipping network DHL has built globally. This will help us expand our white-label turnkey B2B eCommerce platform and provide online shoppers with the ability to shop more and get more at great shipping rates fast.” said Chris Folayan Founder and CEO of Link Commerce and Mall for Africa.
The eShop provides vital online shopping access during this time, with impressive growth coming from countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Angola, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa.
“Assurance for delivery has become a top priority for consumers,” says Heymans. “ Basket sizes have also increased, as shoppers seek to get all of what they need immediately, rather than to space out their orders. Online shopping supports the ultimate level of social distancing – connecting consumers to everything they need at a click of a button.
DHL Africa eShop was developed in partnership with Link Commerce and initially launched in 11 African countries in April 2019. DHL says the platform was an immediate success, gaining around 5,000 subscribers within the first six weeks.
DHL Africa eShop is live in 34 countries across Sub-Saharan Africa with tens of thousands of users across the continent. With operations across 51 markets in Sub-Saharan Africa, servicing customers, efficient delivery is an important factor for DHL Express.
“At Link Commerce our strategy is to help businesses grow and provide shoppers globally with access to US and UK online retailers like never before. DHL’s investment in the company gives us that edge we need to expand rapidly globally and access to products like never before,” said Chris Folayan, Founder and CEO of Link Commerce Ltd.