RIYADH: Wa’ed, the entrepreneurship arm of Saudi Aramco, has invested in a “fast delivery” courier service, with the startup planning to use the funding to expand beyond its existing operations in Riyadh and Alkhobar.
Postage, founded in 2019, was the first company to offer guaranteed same-day delivery between Riyadh and Dammam — a distance of 410 kilometers — and introduced a two-hour express service within the capital.
“Saudis are digitally savvy and used to expecting everything instantly,” Abdulrahman Al-Afaliq, founder of Postage, said in a statement.
“With Postage, we are closing gaps in the marketplace and delivering the velocity needed to fuel e-commerce across the nation. I am grateful to Wa’ed for supporting Postage, which is helping Saudi businesses keep pace with demand for shorter delivery times and rapid growth in online commerce.”
Al-Afaliq developed the idea for Postage after overhearing friends complain about how long it took them to receive items bought online.
The service now delivers clothes, children’s toys, books and other goods for more than 50 corporate clients. With the investment from Wa’ed, Postage plans to enhance its IT infrastructure, boost recruitment, and expand delivery services to cities such as Jeddah, Qassim and Abha.
“Wa’ed is proud to support innovative, game-changing businesses like Postage, which are building a more diversified Saudi economy,’’ said Wassim Basrawi, managing director of Wa’ed.
“Postage is an example of a startup that is raising Saudi standards for timeliness and customer service.”
Wa’ed reported in January that it had trebled the amount of money loaned to startups in the Kingdom last year. The Dhahran-based initiative gave out 12 loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, up from four in 2019. The total value also rose to SR31 million ($8.27 million), up from SR10 million in 2019.
“In a very challenging year, I am proud of the Wa’ed family, which includes my team and our resilient entrepreneurs, for rising to the challenges and keeping us on track to deliver an even greater impact in 2021,” Basrawi said.