Glovo Edges Deeper Into The African Market

By Jonathan Keane, Contributor
Glovo courier is seen in Krakow, Poland on March 16, 2020. (Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images) NurPhoto via Getty Images

Glovo, the on-demand delivery firm, is eyeing up more territories beyond Europe by inching further into Africa.

The Barcelona company, which raised €450 million earlier this year, is investing €50 million over the next 12 months in expanding its presence with launches in Ghana and Tunisia. This will bring its African presence to a total of seven countries. According to the company, these markets are largely underserved for online and on-demand delivery.

Currently Glovo is active in Morocco, Uganda, Kenya, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire and Nigeria with 300,000 users and 12,000 couriers. It expects to add 200 employees in the region by the end of next year.

The roll-out in Ghana in the capital Accra and neighboring city Tema has already begun with the Tunisian capital Tunis to follow next month.

"Our vision is to give everyone easy access to anything in their city and our platform is at its best when it is connecting users and businesses, most of which are local restaurants and independent stores," Glovo co-founder Sacha Michaud said.

"We believe there’s a huge opportunity in these countries to help accelerate digitalization and meet the rising demand for online shopping and deliveries, and we are working hand-in-hand with our local partners to market and deliver their goods to new users through the app."

Glovo’s services aren’t limited to food delivery from restaurants, with delivery services for groceries, pharmacies and retail. It is investing in the so-called quick-commerce space with fulfilment centers in cities to facilitate rapid deliveries and this summer it launched virtual brands for restaurants.

William Benthall, general manager of Sub-Saharan Africa, said the African expansion has been in the works for a while.

"There’s been an unprecedented spike in the on-demand delivery business in Africa and the expansion of our services to new countries and cities is both a reflection of that trend and a testament to our commitment to the continent," he said.

Glovo has a large presence in Europe and recently expanded deeper into Eastern Europe by acquiring several country operations from Delivery Hero.

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