Investment foray in African market in line with Crescent Enterprises' expansion strategy for 2016
Mara Shopping and Mara Xpress to bolster Africa's position in global e-commerce market
Dubai-UAE: 21 June, 2016
Crescent Enterprises, the UAE-based diversified conglomerate, today announced its foray into the rapidly growing African technology sector with an investment in Mara Group's technology vertical. Crescent Investments, the strategic investment arm of Crescent Enterprises, led a group of private investors to forge an investment deal to support two business verticals under Mara Group - Mara Shopping and Mara Xpress.
Created to serve as an ecosystem for mobile and tech platforms, Mara Xpress and Mara Shopping connect people across Africa and the Middle East via e-commerce, m-commerce and last mile logistics. Mara Group, headquartered in the UAE, has already set up a distribution hub for Mara Xpress in Dubai, and is scheduled to roll out to countries across Africa in the next four years in collaboration with Mara Shopping.
With existing operations in sectors including ports and logistics, power and engineering, business aviation and healthcare, spanning across several global markets, Crescent Enterprises' strategic investment in Mara Group articulates its ambition to expand its presence into Africa - where the multinational is actively exploring diverse investment opportunities, with the continent's population projected to grow to 1.6 billion by 2025 and e-commerce sales estimated to surge from the current US$1 billion to US$75 billion in 2025.
Speaking on the opportunity, Badr Jafar, Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises, said: "The African continent boasts enormous potential for growth over the next decade, particularly in the technology sector. Our entry into this market in partnership with Mara Group is in line with Crescent Enterprises' strategic expansion goals for 2016. We look forward to leveraging this opportunity to transfer our own experience in innovation and entrepreneurship into ventures that enable sustainable economic development in Africa."
Ashish J Thakkar, Founder, Mara Group, said: "Mara's tech vertical offers a complete end-to-end customer experience through Mara Shopping and Mara Xpress. We will also follow a different approach from current players in the market as Africa's first two-way marketplace."
He added: "Through our collaboration with the consortium of investors led by Crescent Enterprises, we have the opportunity to launch the platform later this year and really test and fine-tune the business model, which we believe will be key to scaling up and succeeding in the African market as a whole."
Mara Shopping is a Middle East and Africa focused online marketplace that is set to become the leading e-commerce business in Africa by 2020. The platform will facilitate global brands to sell locally to African audiences, as well as African brands to sell nationally, regionally and globally. Mara Group has also set up Mara Xpress, a last-mile delivery service, to address the current challenges, which emerge from a lack of integration between the e-commerce platform and the delivery of products.
About Crescent Enterprises:
Crescent Enterprises is a multinational company headquartered in the UAE, active in the fields of ports and logistics; power and engineering; business aviation; healthcare; private equity and business incubation. Through its group of 20 subsidiary and affiliate companies, Crescent Enterprises employs over 5,000 people, across in 22 countries on five continents.
The company has a long-term investment and operating philosophy and is a leader in growing diversified regional and global companies and building sustainable, scalable and profitable enterprises. CE-Ventures, one of the company's divisions, develops early-stage concepts into fully viable businesses that generate inclusive social impact.
Crescent Enterprises is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Crescent Group, one of the most progressive family business groups, which has been actively contributing to the economic landscape of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region for over 43 years. Crescent Group's other subsidiary, Crescent Petroleum, is the first and the largest indigenous, privately-owned upstream oil and gas company in the Middle East.
For further information, please visit: www.crescententerprises.com/
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© Press Release 2016