Home Technology How the UAE’s Omniful is Navigating E-Commerce Logistics

How the UAE’s Omniful is Navigating E-Commerce Logistics

Inc. Arabia speaks to Mostafa Abolnasr, co-founder of Omniful, about the unique challenges and opportunities of building a tech solution for e-commerce logistics in MENA.

By Inc.Arabia Staff
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Digitization has been the cornerstone of a post-COVID world. And one sector that is seeing significant digitization is the logistics sector. Within that, the growing demand for hyperlocal delivery and e-commerce has ignited a tech-driven transformation in the e-commerce logistics sector in MENA. 

Consumer demand for quicker, more individualized services across various touchpoints is driving a growing emphasis on hyperlocal and omnichannel commerce in the supply chain and e-commerce logistics sector, which is becoming increasingly tech-driven.

A report by Modor Intelligence also points out that the MENA region logistics market size is estimated to hit $153.70 billion this year and will reach $209.32 billion by 2028.  

This creates an opportunity for players like Omniful, a B2B Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) startup, to streamline the space using tech. Founded in 2021 by Mostafa Abolnasr and Alankrit Nishad, the UAE- and Saudi Arabia-based startup is building an innovative approach to Order Management Systems (OMS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and Transportation Management Systems (TMS) for the hyperlocal logistics sector. 

"I've spent more than 15 years operating and running e-commerce ventures, using all types of operations software. There was a clear gap for a highly scalable, modular supply chain platform," Mostafa Abolnasr, one of Omniful's co-founders, tells Inc. Arabia.  

He tells us that the inefficiencies in the silo-based approach to managing e-commerce and logistics prompted his team to step in with a more cohesive and efficient approach. 
Abolnasr tells us that e-commerce players would need to integrate at least three different cloud software packages to get what Omniful provides on one platform. “The three to four different cloud software programs need to be stitched together. However, this doesn’t happen because of the integration risks. Also, having multiple vendors is a heavy cost burden for a company,” says Abolnasr. 

With Omniful, the duo envisioned a unified platform that addresses the pain points faced by merchants and third-party fulfillment providers. Omniful aims to address the need for a more cohesive and efficient approach to e-commerce operations and supply chain management, especially concerning Order Management Systems (OMS), Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and Transportation Management Systems (TMS). 

“Omniful was envisioned as a solution to bridge these gaps, offering a unified platform that empowers merchants and third-party logistics fulfillment providers with real-time inventory management and streamlined order fulfillment across multiple sales channels,” says Abolnasr.  

"We can boost efficiencies up to 40% and achieve 75% faster fulfillment for our clients,” he adds.  

Competing against established players listed on the Gartner Magic Quadrant, Omniful's unique value proposition lies in its agility and scalability. "We built highly scalable and agile modular systems that can handle more than 3 million orders per day per client without even starting to autoscale," Abolnasr tells us.  

One of the significant challenges the team had to face was penetrating a market against global competitors. "Competing against global leaders in OMS and WMS was daunting," admits Abolnasr. "We were a seed stage startup, but we were determined to be 10 times better than the next option.” The team’s confidence, capabilities, and credentials were boosted when they managed to win deals against established competitors.  

“Another challenge is integration. Our counterparts globally depend on their reseller partners to do all the hard work. We wanted to offer a plug-and-play system, which required us to build a lot of native integrations for e-commerce platforms or marketplaces, and also for localized shipping providers in the Middle East, Turkey, and Europe,” says Abolnasr. 

The team launched its Minimum Viable Product (MVP) in 2022 with one of the biggest names in grocery shopping in the Middle East. In 2023, they built the commercial version of Omniful as it exists today. 

“We have been focused on finding customers with operational challenges that affect their growth so we can show the impact of our solutions instantly. As of last month, we were still in stealth mode, with zero marketing spend, and purely founder-led sales that are network-based or customer-referrals. Although we generated impressively growing annual recurring revenue in 2023 considering we were in stealth, we look at 2024 as the go-to-market year for Omniful,” says Abolnasr. 

Today, Omniful has a footprint in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Turkey, South Africa, Germany, and the US. The team intends to strengthen its presence in the markets it operates in and launch in new regions. It also intends to double down on R&D efforts. 

“We want to reach a point where it's an undebatable fact that Omniful is the best OMS/WMS from a product and technology perspective for the use cases that we're targeting. We're planning to accelerate growth through different marketing and partnership programs,” says Abolnasr. 

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