UAE-based multinational telecom services operator, Emirates Telecommunications Group Company (Etisalat Group) has completed the acquisition of Dubai-based online marketplace for groceries, elGrocer.
The acquisition value is expected to be around $10.4 million including up to $8.17 million for the 100 percent shares of elGrocer, Etisalat said. However, the telecom operator did not disclose the exact transaction amount.
The UAE is rated as one of the most advanced countries for online shopping and eCommerce markets in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region and this acquisition is anticipated to contribute to the growing digital economy in the country.
The acquisition of elGrocer is expected to benefit Etisalat UAE’s existing marketplace services under the ‘Smiles’ brand, which includes online food delivery, lifestyle offers and the ability to earn and redeem points at more than 7,000 outlets across the UAE. Launched last year, the Smiles food delivery platform has nearly 2.7 million members.
“Following the successful launch of the Smiles food delivery platform at the beginning of 2021, the ability to offer our customers online grocery services presents an exciting opportunity to enhance our Smiles offering for UAE consumers and 2.7 million existing Smiles members. We strongly believe in bringing elGrocer on board, we will be able to empower our customers by providing more tailored and unique propositions, extending the possibility to earn and redeem Smiles points on online grocery transactions and offering exclusive discounts.”
Founded in 2015, elGrocer is a leading online marketplace for groceries operating in all seven Emirates of the UAE. It brings together major retailers and specialty stores on a single platform with more than 500 outlets and 120,000 products listed. It has strategic partnerships with major global and local fast-moving consumer goods companies.
Commenting on the acquisition, Mr. Raed Hafez, CEO of elGrocer, said, “We are proud of what we have achieved so far with elGrocer in pioneering grocery consumer experiences and innovations. Now, we look forward to Smiles and elGrocer coming together to bring more access, value, and innovation to enhance UAE consumers’ daily lives.”
“Consumer habits are changing very fast, and together we will empower consumer lives with delightful experiences and offer the market new unique services. We have already started providing rich offers exclusively to Etisalat and Smiles customers. We are also quickly expanding our current retail network of Supermarkets and Specialty stores across the Emirates,” Mr. Nader Amiri, Founder and COO of elGrocer, remarked.