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EghtesadOnline: At a time when most Iranian startups are devising damage control strategies to weather economic headwinds caused by US sanctions, Iran’s major online package delivery firm has launched an expansion program with the support of Turquoise Partners.

AloPeyk announced over the weekend that it has forged a deal with Yaran Daryan, which owns chainstores in Tehran and acquired the latter’s online marketplace Dokan. 

The startup’s CEO Mehdi Nayebi told Financial Tribune, “The move is in line with the company’s plan to introduce an online marketplace, AloMarket.”

“AloMarket is to be an on-demand online grocery shop. Unlike most Internet-based retailers in Iran, orders placed with AloMarket are to be delivered under an hour of registration,” Financial Tribune quoted him as saying.

The Iranian startup has been on an expansion spree, attracting investment from Industry and Trade Development Investment Company, affiliated to Tehran-based financial services group Turquoise Partners.

Earlier, Turquoise Partners CEO Ramin Rabii posted a thread on Twitter: “Turquoise Partners has successfully completed the fundraising and an M&A transaction for @AloPeyk , the leading Iranian on-demand urban logistics platform. In this transaction, AloPeyk has fully acquired Dokan, online delivery service of Yaran Daryan Supermarket Chain.”

 

Turquoise Partners has successfully completed the fundraising and a M&A transaction for @alopeyk, the leading Iranian on-demand urban logistics platform. In this transaction, AloPeyk has fully acquired Dokan, the online delivery service of Yaran Daryan Supermarket Chain #Iranpic.twitter.com/5CP344Xs1y

— Ramin Rabii (@RabiiRamin) May 1, 2019

 

Rabii noted that the transaction also involves a cash investment by Industry and Trade Development Investment Company, a publicly listed Iranian investment holding, to support the launch of new service lines within AloPeyk.

 

 

Uphill Battle

AloPeyk has recently made forays into postal services and ride-hailing markets by introducing two new services: AloPost and AloTaxi.

“Over the past few years, Alopeyk has been mostly focused on offering B2B [business to business] services. This fiscal year [started March 21] we are planning to expand our presence in B2C [business to consumer] markets,” Nayebi said.

Pointing to economic woes facing Iran after the US reimposed sanctions last summer, AloPeyk’s CEO said, “Iranian startups are certain to face an uphill battle for sustaining their business in the coming months. Forging new ties with other tech firms and enlisting support from government entities can help them weather the hardships.”

AloPeyk has recently forged two separate agreements with Tehran Taxi Organization and Iran Post Company.

Elaborating on AloPeyk’s deal with TTO, Nayebi noted that the deal will facilitate the process of vetting and employing AloTaxi drivers.

AloTaxi was launched during the Norouz holidays (March 21-April 2) in Tehran. It is yet to attract enough drivers to compete with leading ride-hailing firms in the Iranian market, namely Snapp and Tap30.

 

 

Another Agreement

On April 23, a deal was signed by Alopeyk and Iran Post Company, based on which postal services are to be modernized and become more user-friendly.

Through the deal, the two sides are to roll out a service dubbed AloPost. For sending packages, people are required to visit the post office, fill up forms and wait in line until their parcels are processed by a postal worker. 

With the introduction of AloPost, this time-consuming process will become a thing of the past. With a few clicks on AloPeyk website or through its mobile application, users will be able to send a service request online. An Alopeyk staff will collect the parcel and service fees at the doorstep.

So far, AloPeyk has mostly been focused on offering services in Tehran. However, Nayebi said it is poised to roll out similar services in other major cities, including Shiraz, Isfahan, Tabriz, Mashhad and Karaj.

 

Iran US sanctions Startups AloPeyk Expansion Spree online package delivery Turquoise Partners