Glovo ramps-up its Africa business, faces challenge from Yango and Jumia

By Baudelaire Mieu in Abidjan
Posted on Monday, 2 January 2023 12:07

© Glovo.

With competitors now nipping at its heels, Spanish delivery start-up Glovo is set to expand in Côte d’Ivoire.

After kicking off its business affairs in Côte d’Ivoire in 2019, the Spanish delivery start-up formally planted roots in the heart of the Ivorian economic capital last November.

Intending to expand from its new Abidjan office, Glovo intends to establish a new commercial strategy, beginning with Côte d’Ivoire, its second African venture after Morocco.

Acquired in late 2021 by the German giant Delivery Hero, Glovo has maintained a distinctly Spanish identity.

In addition to this, its new Director General of Africa, Diego Nouet Delgado, will continue to lead Glovo Spain. Taking a personal trip to Abidjan to install Côte d’Ivoire’s newest director, Frenchman Christophe Picard, Glovo intends to double its workforce in 2023.

Engaged with around 36 businesses at the moment, Glovo works with more than 2,000 restaurants.

An omnipresent business strategy

Currently operating in Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tunisia, and Morocco, Glovo also operates in 25 European countries — its first market — as well as Asia.

After investing almost $50m in its African development in the last two years, Glovo’s intention is to replicate its successes elsewhere despite the presence of competitors like Yango Eats, subsidiary of the Russian giant Yandex, currently preparing its own launch in Côte d’Ivoire.

Bolstered by funding from its parent holding company, Yango Eats envisions a rapid launch of its services throughout the country.

However, Glovo intends to focus its strategy on the rapid growth of African e-commerce in recent years, particularly linked to shifting demographics in urban areas. In addition, Glovo’s new talent programme will target several local businesses, allowing delivery workers to learn how to pursue their own business ventures and form long-term partnerships.

“We are focused on strengthening our position within our respective markets, and we will continue to make the necessary financial investments to ensure this, with full confidence in our values,” Delgado says, without specifying how much money will be invested.

An engine for growth

Established African countries represent 30% of Glovo’s revenues, which have further emboldened it to establish itself as a key player in the region.

As such, the Spanish company views the African market as the future engine of its growth, in particular through the expansion of partnerships.

Glovo’s strategy, initially based on approximately 5,000 partners (at a cost of €35m), has since expanded to 14,000 small and medium-sized partner companies. “We support our partners by not only granting them SIM cards but through connecting them with telecommunications companies.

“In Morocco, we provide logistical support to facilitate distribution initiatives, complete with SIM card integration,” Delgado said.

In the meantime, however, the fight with competitors Jumia Food or Yango Eats will remain fierce in the months and years to come. Glovo will be ready.

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