Three years ago, Waleed Rashed, an entrepreneur who has a passion for doing business the smart way, found a huge opportunity in courier management industry in Egypt as e-commerce platforms have been booming, hence his startup VOO, launched in April 2018 to bridge the gap.
EG: Why did you start and what’s the passion behind it?
WR: Some time after the breakout of the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses went online. VOO is a platform offering couriers that supply e-commerce.
We could see couriers in Egypt under tremendous pressure as e-commerce platforms are increasing daily. So, a third party would offer better communications between both sides and that’s where we come in.
EG: What is your background?
WR: I have been field courier management since 2013 and I founded a courier service that did an exit in 2016. So, my background helped me identifying the real needs of courier companies and I thought it was time to join the dots.
EG: What are the issues you are solving and what is your value proposition?
WR: firstly, we are a marketplace that offers a number of operating couriers in Egypt. We help e-commerce owners compare between them in terms of price and quality to be able to select what suits them.
Clients don’t usually know who is the fastest and best priced courier when they want to deliver their products to their customers.
Secondly, we have an assistance centre to solve delivery issues that an e-commerce might face with a courier.
Another mission is to track couriers, spot delays and problems, and solve them on behalf of the e-commerce.
EG: Tell us more about the process, users and business model.
WR: An e-commerce owner can register online and receive a response in 15 minutes to put all the info on our system.
Then the owner can sign an agreement online and have access to all the couriers on our platforms. Our customers can also access more services such as marketplaces and e-payment solutions through VOO. This can be another added value to their supply chain management.
Our users are owners of small and medium companies and startups that are losing out as couriers are paying more attention to big enterprises.
We generate revenue on a margin-system on each delivery cost as we obtain favourable price lists from our registered couriers due to high demand from e-commerce platforms.
EG: What are your main challenges?
WR: Time. E-commerce is highly diverse and growing rapidly. We need much more couriers to meet such a huge demand.
EG: What are your achievements and coming plan?
WR: So far, we have raised seed funds from Alex Angels, a group of angel investors, and 500 startups, a venture capital.
We have made many partnerships with more service providers in e-payment, a marketplace integration that add more to the services offered to our users.
We have hit more than 600 e-commerce owners to date. Of course, we are looking forward to expanding.
ER: Do you find the ecosystem is helping you?
WR: Yes. The ecosystem is part of building our business as it connects us to all the stakeholders and startups owners, as well as suppliers to grow our network and business database.