Founded in 2019, a Qatar-based delivery application has made its way to being the fastest growing technology company in the country in just two years. Implementing the newest innovations and diversifying its services, this Doha-based e-commerce startup managed to attract more than 100 000 users. The investment funds Snoonu raised in 2021 will allow it to expand its operations across the country rapidly.
Its founders are Hamad Al Hajri, an entrepreneur and startup expert with 20 years of experience in global business innovation, and Sabina Abuova, a creative marketer with an entrepreneurial spirit from Kazakhstan. They joined their efforts to build this startup and launched it in two phases. It was originally an offline service of personal concierge and door-to-door delivery, but in October 2019, it evolved into a mobile eCommerce application for ordering products online.
Now Snoonu is a marketplace that provides online shopping, grocery, and lifestyle deliveries as well as third-party logistics services in Qatar.
In 2020 the team launched its own grocery store operating 24/7. They mainly use locally sourced products. In this way, Snoonu supports local merchants and producers.
The ultimate goal of the startup is to revolutionize the Qatari market. They strive to provide the fastest and most diverse services in the country. Snoonu is constantly seeking opportunities to expand internationally, mainly in the Middle East and CIS countries.
In April 2020, Snoonu raised $5 million in a Series A investment round led by Qatar Development Bank, its strategic partner. It is the largest Series A round in the history of Qatari startups. Co-founder and CEO of Snoonu, Hamad Al Hajri, said, “We are pleased to close this round of funding with such an incredible result, and we are immensely grateful to our investors and to our strategic partner QDB for believing in our potential and supporting our growth”. They plan to use the funds to invest in its R&D as well as entering new markets.
Initiatives and Goals
The company is already building its way to the international market by establishing international relations with strategically important countries. At the beginning of June, Snoonu took part in the Saint-Petersburg Forum that was meant to be a platform for a dialogue between political and business leaders. Co-founder and CMO Sabina Abuova considers Russia a key partner in the innovation process. Since our participation in the Skolkovo program, we have realized that Russia and Qatar share a similar goal in driving the tech industry forward, and both have a booming startup sector… We have greatly enjoyed the forum and are looking forward to continuing the fruitful dialogue further,” says Sabina.
Snoonu claims to be “a people-centric business” and cares not only about customers but also employees. This summer, they launched a ‘No riders under the sun’ aimed at protecting its drivers from the summer heat. May to mid-October is considered to be the hottest period in Qatar when the temperature can reach 40 degrees Celsius. It can be dangerous to go outside and stay in the sun even for a few minutes, so Snoonu has halted deliveries using motorbikes during the day, transitioning to car deliveries exclusively.
In March, Snoonu announced the collaboration with Microsoft aimed at accelerating the startup’s digital transformation. Joining forces with the world’s most powerful company, Snoonu is building a winning platform for its digital operations.
Building a sustainable society and economy is one of the goals Snoonu pursues. It is committed to contributing to Qatar National Vision 2030 aim, which is “to transform Qatar into an advanced society capable of achieving sustainable development”. Snoonu constantly invests in the Qatari economy by generating working places, improving employees’ working conditions and salaries. It also partners with over 1650 merchants with lover commission fees to support them in the difficult time of the world pandemic.
What is next?
In 2020, the company got a “Resilience Award” that honours individuals and organizations that are committed to organization resiliency with internationally adopted standards.
Apart from overseas expansion, the team is working on their own payment solution, Snoopay. It is a digital in-app feature that will enable creating a Direct to Customer (D2C) marketplace. This way, both customers and merchants get the best prices and conditions.
They plan to invest in its marketing activities to establish a strong brand position in both Qatar and the international market. Being the number one service app in the region doesn’t seem like an illusional dream anymore – with the right contribution of the investors’ funds, the company is likely to grow even faster than before.
Snoonu continues to foster the country’s tech hub and boosts the tech economy by encouraging innovation. The company builds the whole ecosystem around itself, providing the widest range of services.
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