Chinese expat's Dubai start-up iMile expands into Egypt

Firm capitalising on growing Egyptian e-commerce market

Man drawing diagram on glass wall in office. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Man drawing diagram on glass wall in office. Image used for illustrative purpose.

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Dubai-based start-up iMile has expanded into Egypt with the launch of its operations in the cities of Cairo and Suez. 

The last-mile logistics platform, which works with online sellers to deliver goods from China to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, is also looking to further expand its business. 

The company was founded by Chinese expatriate Rita Huang, who first moved to Dubai to work for Huawei in 2008 and later for a joint venture between Meraas and Alibaba. 

In a statement on Sunday, Huang said their expansion into Egypt is “a big part” in their “solid plans” for what they want to achieve in 2021. 

“We aim to continue growing at rapid pace into next year and will invest in our technology and our people to ensure we are ahead of the curve,” she said. 

Egypt expansion 

The company has recently partnered with two e-commerce firms in Egypt and is working with several small and medium-sized enterprises for door-to-door delivery. It is also hiring in Egypt to establish a local team there. 

“Ultimately, iMile seeks to enhance cross-border e-commerce logistics and [the launch] into Egypt presents an opportunity to bring customers in the MENA region even closer to sellers in China,” the statement said. 

Egypt’s e-commerce market is estimated to be worth around $2.5 billion as of December 2020. The market is buoyed by an expanding population and rich middle class. 

“The growth of Egypt’s e-commerce industry has been spurred by its rising population, its increasingly affluent middle class and most notably, by consumers’ readiness to trial new retail options, a phenomenon accelerated by the COVID-19 crisis,” iMile said. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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© ZAWYA 2021

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