Founded in 2016 by Muzaffar Karabaev, Wing.ae was a startup based in the United Arab Emirates that aimed to build a highly efficient delivery network in the region. Promising same or next day deliveries, Wing.ae caught the eye of some major e-commerce players in the area.
Amazon made its debut in the Middle Eastern market by buying the retail giant Souq.com for $580 million. Souq.com was much like Amazon for its Middle Eastern customers. The website boasted 45 million visitors per month and a wide selection of 8.4 million products in different categories including fashion, electronics, lifestyle, household goods, and more. Souq.com operated in Egypt, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.
The acquisition of Souq instantly gave Amazon a great chunk of the market share in the Middle East. To further expand operations in the area and build the logistics required for Amazon in UAE, Souq.com acquired Wing.ae in 2017. Wing.ae had previously been receiving investment and guidance from Souq for scaling and growing its business.
After the acquisition, Wing.ae revealed that it would continue to support some of the other marketplaces it had been working with at the time (i.e. fulfill orders for some of Amazon’s competitors). The CEO and Co-founder of Souq expressed the importance of the acquisition: he stated that Souq focused highly on delivering an exceptional online shopping experience for its Middle Eastern customers and these efforts would now be supplemented by Wing’s delivery solutions.
The CEO and founder of Wing.ae also released a statement in which he explained how Wing.ae’s delivery solutions would play a key role in filling the logistical gaps that would help Souq provide a high-quality shopping experience for its customers and merchants.
Aside from serving Souq, it was believed that Wing.ae’s fast delivery network would be used to implement Amazon’s Prime offerings in the region, as Prime offers same-day shipping to Amazon users.