ⓘ Featured image: OTO co-founders, Mohammad AlRazaz (L), and Muhammed Furkan Uzar; Credits: Supplied
Delaware-based SaaS startup OTO that supports brick-and-mortar retailers to ship their online orders directly from their physical stores to the customers in less than 2 hours, on Monday announced that the company has expanded its operations to six geographies in the MENA region i.e. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman. The company has signed several strategic agreements with retailers and trusted delivery companies since the outbreak of Covid-19.
Founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneurs Mohammad Al-Razaz and Furkan Uzar who have over 20 years of combined experience in building and managing businesses in logistics, transportation, e-commerce, and technology. OTO was selected in the second cohort of Misk500 Accelerator program. In December 2019, the company had raised an undisclosed investment from 500 Startups with participation from a group of leading angel investors. The company expects to commence its next round of fundraising in early 2021.
OTO is an innovative service specialized in the logis-tech industry which helps solve a very complex problem and is set to revolutionize delivery commitments for retailers. The platform manages and orchestrates the retailer’s orders coming from multiple channels to be fulfilled from the nearest store or hub, resulting on deliveries within a couple of hours inside cities, and 2 days between cities.
Some of the recent major partnership wins are Zain, Arabian Oud, The Body Shop, Abdulsamad AlQurashi, Whites/Kunooz Pharmacies, Cardial, AlSaif Gallery and many other retailers across the region. OTO has also integrated with more than 70 global and regional Courier and Bullet delivery service providers in the region, making OTO the largest integrator for last mile delivery services in MENA. To name a few these include: DHL, Aramex, SMSA, Careem, Jeeny, Saudi Post, Shipa, Tam, Mylerz and many more, providing a wide range of delivery services such as 2 Hours, Same Day, Next Day, Click & Collect, Locker Boxes, and International Delivery.
Speaking of the expansion, AlRazaz, CEO of OTO, in a statement, said,
“Having established OTO as the largest integrator for Last-Mile Delivery Services in MENA, OTO is positioned as the ultimate shipping gateway in the region and beyond of which we are proud. Especially during Covid-19, we are grateful and appreciate the valuable guidance and timely advice received from our leading and prominent investors who supported our strategic initiatives.”
Speaking of the challenges and successes amid the COVID-19 pandemic scenario, AlRazaz, further added,
“Since the onset of Covid-19, with curfews and lockdowns, our services proved to be a significant resource which could not be overlooked by many of the key players in the commerce retail sector. Over the past few months, we signed strategic agreements with more than six mega retailers. We have been witnessing 30% month-on-month growth in our business with positive cash flow and very healthy margins. To-date, we have more than 20 major brands trusting OTO to manage their last-mile delivery operations with the best delivery options and rates. We have a very strong pipeline with many more big names waiting to onboard our platform and we look forward to welcoming them soon,”
“As we keep adding retailers to our portfolio and expanding our network with trusted delivery companies, we look forward to building greater retailer and consumer confidence establishing OTO as a leading global player,” said AlRazaz
Sharing some important insights, AlRazaz continued,
“According to a recent report by Kearney, e-commerce is growing very fast in the MENA region and is expected to hit US$50 billion in market size by 2025 with average annual growth of 16% year-on-year. As of today, E-commerce sales represents only 1.9% of the total retail sales, according to Kearney. This places the retailers in a position to lead the e-commerce wave, and have a competitive advantages over the pure e-commerce players by capitalizing on their stores and warehouses to provide faster delivery options and better costumer experience by implementing an Omni-channel strategy to bridge the gap between the online and offline sales. Fulfilling these objectives is our mission at OTO,”
OTO integrates with most of the well-known e-commerce platforms such as Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, and many others. Using OTO’s network helps retailers fulfill their delivery commitments seamlessly and efficiently. With OTO all parcels can be tracked in real-time from a single dashboard, and hundreds of shipping manifests can be generated and printed in one click! Also, the solution manages all the operational processes efficiently in both Arabic and English. Retailers using OTO enjoy a great customer experience with value added services such as branded tracking pages, return management, integrations with cloud communication services such as SMS, WhatsApp, and emails for shipments notifications and address validation to assure packages delivery as fast as possible.