Home Finance Dukkantek seals $10m funding round as it scales digital ecosystem for SMB retail sector in MENA  
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Dukkantek seals $10m funding round as it scales digital ecosystem for SMB retail sector in MENA  

by uma

 

Demand surges for Dukkantek digital transformation services to improve business processes. 

19th August 2022; Store management platform Dukkantek has quickly scaled across the MENA region as SMB retailers adopted their tech for customer services, business processes and faster growth. In supporting this growth, Dukkantek is today announcing an oversubscribed $10m pre-series A funding round as it powers the digital ecosystem for 13 million SMB retailers across the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Turkey and Saudi Arabia as it looks for more opportunities in North Africa.

The funding round was led by BECO with significant participation from Rocketship and Colle Capital. Other strategic investors in the round included Comma Capital, AMK Investment Office, Chaos Ventures, and Wamda Capital. The funding round follows their $5.2m seed round in October 2021, taking their total funds raised to $15.2m. 

Dukkantek was founded in January 2021 by Ali Al Sayegh, Sanad Yaghi and Shadi Joulani. Originally conceived as a service aimed at retailers in the grocery sector, the merchants on the platform now span 70 different verticals, with clothing and electricals particularly prominent alongside food and drink. It has already attracted more than thousands of customers for its suite of services empowering traditional merchants with end-to-end digital technology that improves all business processes. It enables these retailers to run their bricks and mortar stores more efficiently and productively and to make the leap into ecommerce.

Dukkantek co-founder Sanad Yaghi commented: “For too long, the owners of small and medium-sized businesses have been left on the margins of the technology shift; now we are serving their unmet needs. We bring a technology platform consisting of three different value propositions that enable these merchants to compete in a digital world”

“This includes a set of tools that enables merchants to run their businesses more effectively. Payments options ensure merchants can offer customers more choice about how to settle their bills. And an e-commerce offering which gives merchants everything they need to start selling online for the first time and to manage that operation in tandem with the brick-and-mortar business.  Many merchants struggle to keep track of inventory when selling both online and in physical stores, so having one system that incorporates both parts of the business is very important”.

The coronavirus pandemic hastened digital adoption in the MENA region, leading to an increase in online shopping, in particular. The region’s e-commerce market is expected to reach $49 billion in 2025, up almost 55 per cent from 2021, a report by EZDubai, an e-commerce zone in Dubai, and Euromonitor International showed earlier this year. The UAE’s e-commerce market alone is forecast to grow 60 per cent to more than $8bn by 2025 from 2021. Community retailers in the UAE without a digital presence, who were unable to accept online payments during the pandemic, were severely affected due to the drop in customer footfall.

Dukkantek believes that traditional merchants and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) remain the backbone of the global economy, and their transactions should be digitized to keep pace with market developments. And to this end they platform provides: 

  • Cloud POS: The Cloud POS is a Point-of-Sales system that can be accessed online, from anywhere. It allows businesses to keep track of transactions & sales, calculate VAT, generate reports and calculate profit margin.
  • Inventory Management: The Cloud IM is an online software that helps businesses track, manage & organize the inventory. It allows users to keep track of stock, measure stock value, manage fast-moving products and generate reports for analysis.
  • Payment Options: The platform offers a variety of payment options including cash, card payments or credit payments. Reports can be generated to track payments.
  • E-Commerce: The e-commerce functionality allows stores to sell their goods online or through an app. One of its features includes live inventory, as it’s linked to the IM & POS software. Another feature is that stores can choose what items to put online and their corresponding prices. Moreover, it sends push notifications to customers.
  • Companion App: The companion app is a mobile application that helps manage the store online. Its features include: Automated Inventory Reconciliation, live store data, linked to IM & POS, ability to track daily sales on the dashboard, ability to review all transactions, and track cash movements and payment methods.

“It’s very rare to come across a business and team that have been able to execute the way in which Dukkantek has done so far. Launching 7 countries in 18 short months since founding is no easy feat, yet the Dukkantek team has managed to do it in such a seamless and capital efficient manner. We are very excited to partner with Sanad, Ali and the wider team as they look to build on their exciting traction and overall vision of digitizing merchants.” said Abdulaziz Shikh Al Sagha from BECO Capital

Having met its geographical expansion goals, Dukkantek’s focus will now turn to adding new services. In particular, exploring working capital solutions and building its data analytics capabilities for users. “We have seen an increase in users accessing analytics tools on the platform which, for example, help them understand which products will sell best. Three-quarters of the businesses on the platform are now trading in this way. Also, many merchants are keen to expand the number of stores they operate, but are held back by the lack of finance available in the region which we can look to explore” added Sanad Yaghi

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