It’s official: Alibaba finally enters the food delivery market of Bangladesh

Alibaba, the global e-commerce giant, is officially entering the Bangladeshi grocery delivery scene with the acquisition of Hungry Naki at its locally invested company Daraz. The confirmation comes after both parties started negotiations at the beginning of December last year. Although the exact acquisition cost has not yet been released by either party, several news outlets have reported the amount to be a little under $ 1 million (less than BDT 8 crore), citing sources close to the deal.

HungryNaki, one of the first food companies, started operations in 2013. The company has served more than 500,000 customers in Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar and Narayanganj through its network of over 4,000 restaurants. The startup is also the winner of the Daily Star ICT Award in the “Best Startup of the Year 2016” category. Although Hungrynaki is one of the first pacemakers, its market share has declined in recent years as other market players have secured significant investments and ramps up to its operation. According to a recent survey by Happihub, a local reward platform, Hungrynaki’s market share was around 4% as recently as 2020.

According to technology analysts, this acquisition will bring Daraz nearly eight years of customer knowledge and a group of seasoned professionals who have been part of the food delivery scene from the start.

Syed Mostahidal Hoq, MD of Daraz Bangladesh, and HungryNaki CEO and Co-Founder AD Ahmad both confirmed the acquisition. Mostahidal said in a recent press release, “We strive to provide a one-stop solution for all of our customers’ needs. Entering the grocery delivery business is a natural step. HungryNaki is the pioneer in the grocery delivery business in Bangladesh with one.” Loyal customer base. We believe that with these two factors in mind, acquiring HungryNaki is ideal rather than building our own grocery delivery business from scratch. We believe that by investing in infrastructure, technology and human resources, we can take HungryNaki to a new height. ”

However, this isn’t Alibaba’s first investment. The company previously invested in local mobile financial technology giant bKash and Daraz e-commerce platform. In theory, both companies offer the Chinese giant a strong network and logistics base to drive a planned expansion. Both companies have been very successful in capitalizing on the country’s demographic dividend. Food delivery seems like the plausible next step, according to some.

In China, Alibaba plans to expand its grocery delivery presence. In April last year, Ele.me, now the second largest grocery shipping company in the country, acquired Ele.me for $ 9.5 billion. This spate of acquisitions suggests that Alibaba may plan to improve grocery delivery services in the APAC region.

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