Egypt-based logistics platform SIDEUP raises $1.2 million Seed, relocating HQ to Riyadh


SIDEUP, an Egyptian logistics platform for e-commerce services has announced the completion of a $1.2 million seed round. This round saw participation from leading global and regional investors in early-stage growth startups, including Launch Africa VC, 500 Global, Riyadh Angels, Alex Angels,  Al Tuwaijri Fund and Saudi angel investor Faisal AlAbdulsalam. 

Launched in 2019, SIDEUP empowers e-commerce business owners with a suite of technology solutions which enables partnerships, and integrations, to achieve scale and grow revenue. SIDEUP was previously known as VOO, which operated one of the leading logistics marketplaces in the region.  

“We are excited to back SIDEUP, a company that is transforming the e-commerce industry across the entire region by connecting business owners to world-class services and partners.  Their progress so far has been inspiring and is a true example of how technology is solving challenges that are unique to our region. VOO has a robust product and a talented team across the business. We are thrilled to be joining them on their journey as they venture into new markets,” Mohamed Karar, Venture Partner at Launch Africa Ventures.

On a mission to simplify the e-commerce industry, SIDEUP provides a number of services, while allowing business owners to focus on their core operations. Built to solve challenges for the e-commerce economy, businesses can access payment gateways, API integration for shipping, warehousing, fulfilment, and advisory, from one platform.

SIDEUP will utilise its investment capital to double down on its presence in Egypt, launch operations in Saudi Arabia with the opening of an office, and further develop a new range of solutions for customers over the next 12 months. As part of its plans for Saudi Arabia, SIDEUP will relocate its HQ to Riyadh and hire for a number of new roles in the country.

“Online businesses are shaping the future of our economy but they continue to face a number of challenges which limit their growth potential. At SIDEUP, our platform connects merchants with a range of services from industry leaders, allowing them to focus on growing revenues while we take care of the rest. Today we are excited to enter a new phase of growth as we plan to take SIDEUP to new markets including the launch of our Saudi Arabia office. With the backing of our investors, we are well positioned to transform the e-commerce industry across the Middle East and Africa,” said Waleed Rashed, Founder & CEO of SIDEUP.

With a young, digital-native population, the MENA region’s e-commerce sector is set to grow to $104.1 billion by the end of 2022. However, e-commerce businesses continue to face growth challenges that are specific to different parts of the region, from payments to delivery.

SIDEUP’s platform also allows merchants to operate cross-border across 45 countries,  accessing new markets and audiences for their products. Similarly, service providers partnering with SIDEUP can discover new customers and revenue streams. SIDEUP partners with industry leaders including e-commerce platforms Zid, Zammit, and Wuilt; payments services Paytab, Cowpay, Paymob; and logistics providers Aramex, J&T, and iMile. 

“e-commerce remains fragmented across most of the region, creating a number of challenges for business owners. SIDEUP’s platform is a giant leap forward giving them a single place to access partners and technology to grow their businesses exponentially. We are excited to see them come to Saudi Arabia and support businesses through their next phase of growth,” said Dr. Khalid Al Tawil, Co-founder Riyadh Angels.

Once e-commerce businesses choose their preferred service provider, SIDEUP’s account management teams oversee service delivery between merchants and partners. With extensive experience in logistics services, the company had previously established an industry-leading 85% delivery rate on the first attempt, and a total 90% delivery success rate for all e-commerce orders, in a region with addressing challenges. Today, SIDEUP serves over 2,000 e-commerce businesses. All SIDEUP customers have the option of accepting cash on delivery which is paid to merchants every 24 hours, to manage business cash flow.

A cash flow-positive business, SIDEUP has achieved over $500,000 GMV per month, growing at 30 per cent monthly.