Amazon (AMZN) today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire SOUQ.com, an e-commerce leader in the Middle East. Joining the Amazon family will enable SOUQ.com to continue growing while working with Amazon to bring even more products and offerings to customers worldwide.
The acquisition of the mideast e-commerce firm is expected to close in 2017. Amazon recently restarted talks to acquire Souq.com in a deal valued at as much as $650 million after walking away earlier this year. The bid was challenged by Emaar Malls, which offered $800 million.
Souq was valued at around $1 billion in its last funding round, so a $650 million price tag is most certainly a step down from this.
— Amazon News (@amazonnews) March 28, 2017
It still represents a return for investors, who collectively put some $425 million into the company. Those investors included Ballie Gifford, IFC Venture Capital Group, Jabbar Internet Group, MENA Venture Investments, Naspers, Standard Chartered Bank and Tiger Global Management.
“Amazon’s entry into the region reflects the visionary foresight of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, who launched Dubai Internet City in 1999 and adopted the e-commerce and online business legislation of 2002,” said His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai. “Furthermore, it reiterates Dubai’s position as a regional and global hub for the world’s biggest and leading organizations, fostering in its ecosystem that amalgamates the brightest minds, talent, thought leaders, entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.”
“Amazon and SOUQ.com share the same DNA – we’re both driven by customers, invention, and long-term thinking,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Senior Vice President, International Consumer. “SOUQ.com pioneered e-commerce in the Middle East, creating a great shopping experience for their customers. We’re looking forward to both learning from and supporting them with Amazon technology and global resources. And together, we’ll work hard to provide the best possible service for millions of customers in the Middle East.”
“We are guided by many of the same principles as Amazon, and this acquisition is a critical next step in growing our e-commerce presence on behalf of customers across the region,” said SOUQ.com CEO and Co-Founder Ronaldo Mouchawar. “By becoming part of the Amazon family, we’ll be able to vastly expand our delivery capabilities and customer selection much faster, as well as continue Amazon’s great track record of empowering sellers.”
Amazon is guided by four principles: customer obsession rather than competitor focus, passion for invention, commitment to operational excellence, and long-term thinking. Customer reviews, 1-Click shopping, personalized recommendations, Prime, Fulfillment by Amazon, AWS, Kindle Direct Publishing, Kindle, Fire tablets, Fire TV, Amazon Echo, and Alexa are some of the products and services pioneered by Amazon.