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Dubai-based startup YallaMarket raises $2.3 million

Dubai-based instant grocery delivery service YallaMarket raises $2.3 million in a Pre-seed funding co-led by Dubai Angel Investors and Wamda with participation from some MENA-focused angel investors.

The investment will be used to continue YallaMarket’s growth in UAE with  plans to start expansion into Qatar in 2022.

YallaMarket delivers groceries and other goods of daily demand to the doorstep for free in 15 minutes. The service operates through dark stores located in the JLT, Business Bay, and JVC areas of Dubai.  

The client receives an order in 15 minutes from the nearest dark store due to a delivery radius of several kilometers and extremely high picking speed. A special way of storing goods and inaccessibility for customers allows pickers to collect the order in just 3 minutes after purchase. As stores are located in residential areas with high-density neighbourhoods, couriers are able to deliver several orders per ride.

The company's success in Dubai, due to a demand for faster delivery options, has encouraged expansion: in 2022 YallaMarket plans to launch 100 new stores in Dubai, Abu-Dhabi, and enter Qatar.


“We plan to use the majority of newly secured funding to boost our growth. The MENA region is actively developing: Expo is taking place in the Emirates this year, and Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2022. Our goal is to cover as much territory by on-demand fast delivery as possible” said Leo Dovbenko, Co-Founder of YallaMarket.

The startup was founded by a team of Dubai-based and Russian entrepreneurs with a huge foodtech background. YallaMarket founders Leonid Dovbenko and Stanislav Seleznev co-founded restaurant automatisation services DocsinBox and Tawreed. Nader Bassit — CEO of Wakira Investments and NAB Group (exclusive franchise for Subway in Egypt) with 27 years of Foods & FMCG experience, supports the new delivery startup as an adviser.

“We see that the level of development of the e-grocery in the UAE is far from Russia, where express delivery services have achieved incredible success. Over the past few years, it has become clear that the dark-store model is supposed to replace classic convenience stores. It's a new retail revolution as well as the “cash and carry” format appearing in 1964.” said Leo Dovbenko.

The product range includes 2500 SKU of everyday goods and is updated weekly using carefully monitored order trends to ensure there are always minimal items out of stock and to expand the product range and user's choice. Today the average order is Dhs55 and includes 9 positions.

“YallaMarket's mission is to free clients' time up by teleporting products from our store to their home instantly. We are glad to see a response from local consumers and improve our assortment by considering daily feedback,” added Leo Dovbenko. The client receives an order in 15 minutes from the nearest dark store due to a delivery radius of several kilometres and extremely high picking speed.

A special way of storing goods and inaccessibility for customers allows pickers to collect the order in just 3 minutes after purchase. As stores are located in residential areas with high-density neighbourhoods, couriers are able to deliver several orders per ride.

The company also plans to launch the production of ready-to-eat foods: users will be able to order ready-made meals under its private label.