Glovo expands its Q Commerce service in Kenya with the opening its new micro fulfilment centre in Nairobi – the first of its kind for the company in Africa. The new centre is designed to help fulfil partner products using Glovo’s platform and logistics infrastructure.
Glovo views Kenya as its flagship market in Africa. Following a Series F investment round of $528m in April 2021, it is pushing hard to develop its network of micro fulfilment centres for Q Commerce. Q Commerce is the delivery of orders to consumers in less than 30 minutes and is necessarily an urban phenomenon. It previously raised its $166m in a Series E funding round in December 2019.
Glovo is branding its Q Commerce offer as Glovo Market. Consumers can order from local stores hosted on the platform and have their orders delivered within 30 minutes. Glovo CEO Oscar Pierre has said post COVID-19 he expects that “we will see a permanent shift to consumers buying groceries and other essential and convenience items from an app and website, rather than making such trips in person.”
Glovo also operates in Ghana, Morocco, Uganda and Cote d’Ivoire. It has previously exited Egypt. It is using its new investment round to build its Q Commerce offer. Glovo is hiring up to 200 more engineers to work in its Barcelona HQ, as well as hubs in Madrid and Warsaw.
Glovo’s expansion in African markets is a shot across the bows of rival Jumia, which is developing a Q Commerce service of its own, as well as Uber (which is also seeking to reposition as a third party logistics platform). Amazon, which operates in Egypt as Souq, has yet to expand into more African markets.
The levels of funding Glovo is possible to put into Kenya also signals perhaps risks for local online platforms targeting rural and under-served communities, such as Copia, Twiga and Sokowatch. Although at face value they don’t compete, Glovo does have national expansions intentions and the success of its platform for Q Commerce will help form the basis of any future rollout to rural communities.