The English and Arabic e-commerce platform turned heads in 2017 when it was acquired by global giant Amazon for $580m. Led by co-founder and CEO Ronaldo Mouchawar, it became the largest e-commerce platform in the Arab world in less than a decade, attracting over 45 million visitors a month and boasting over 10 million products for sale. In December last year, the platform opened a new fulfilment centre in Dubai that will help create over 600 jobs in its first year of operations. Souq said the 23,000 square metre facility in Dubai South will also increase the selection of products and speed for customers, and benefit regional sellers that use Fulfilment by Souq (FBS) on the ecommerce platform, which sees Souq store and ship their products directly to customers.
Since opening in 2010, the company has created more than 1,700 jobs in the UAE. It has also acquired a number of startups including delivery solution company Wing, which helped it deliver twice as many products during its White Friday sale in 2017 as it did in 2016. It also acquired InstaShop, an online grocery delivery app, which is a growing category on Souq’s platform, and online generally. In 2018, Mouchawar told sister publication CEO Middle East that invention and failure are “inseparable twins”, advising young entrepreneurs to experiment with ideas.
“To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it’s going to work, it’s not an experiment. Most large organisations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to fail… However, you’re still going to be wrong nine times out of ten. It’s important to be bold. That’s the only way we truly make a difference,” he said.