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MENA’s B2B marketplace looking to expand to Latin America

Thais Sousa

São Paulo – Startup Tradeling, a marketplace focused on business-to-business (B2B) transactions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, is looking to expand to Latin America. Its ecommerce connects consumers and sellers in four verticals – food & beverage, health & wellness, office & stationery, and logistics. Founded last April as a Dubai 10X initiative, the startup was supported by the Dubai Airport Free Zone Authority (DAFZA).

In fact, it’s with that support that the startup expect to expand into Brazil. “DAFZA is actively diversifying Arab-Brazilian trade, and we see a promising opportunity to expand our presence to Brazil and other Latin American countries given their leading role as exporters of food and beverages,” Tradeling CEO Muhammad Chbib (pictured above) told ANBA.

To create new possibilities, the company intends to launch a section dedicated to Brazilian products. “We are in talks with trade associations and chambers as well as several companies. In addition, we are looking to push Brazilian products in the region through dedicated sections on our platform,” Chbib explained.

Today, Tradeling has 400 suppliers from over 25 countries. “As we expand our operations, there will be even more opportunities,” the CEO stressed. Domestically, the company also aims to expand its portfolio with upcoming sectors including beauty products which it will launch in 2020, as well as electronics & accessories, apparel, industry materials, new and used machinery, and commodities. “We also plan to expand our footprint in the coming years to Saudi Arabia and the rest of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Egypt, Pakistan, as well as large-population African countries,” Chbib explained.

According to him, the company pioneers a B2B e-commerce model in this scale and scope, from logistics to financing support. “We are the first of its kind B2B platform, not just in the UAE, but across MENA,” he said. To keep innovating, Chbib points out the company has recently launched Tradeling Smart Freight. With it, businesses can benefit from online, real-time access to compare, book and manage their air, ocean and land freight services whether they are active on the Tradeling platform or not.

Launched in the pandemic

Created last April, Tradeling was born amid the crisis ushered in by the novel coronavirus pandemic. Originally, the company would hit the market with food & beverages and office & stationery only, but to stand out in a crisis scenario, the strategy change. “For us, it was a crucial moment: Do we delay the launch or realign our priorities and business model? And we took the harder route: We swiftly realigned our business and introduced a vertical – health & wellness that is relevant to the market realities of now,” the CEO said about the sector that offers access to global supply of high-demand items such as protective masks or gloves.

Since then, the company has seen significant growth across all its verticals and has recently launched its logistics vertical. “Learning from the experience of launching right in the thick of a crisis, we have only emerged stronger and with a laser-sharp focus on how we can adapt to changing circumstances. We are an agile and flexible organization, and we are working towards our planned expansions. We see the future to be driven by digital transactions and we are pioneering a B2B e-commerce model in the region. This will bring exceptional value to the local economies and position Dubai and the UAE as a global hub for trade, and also foster UAE-Brazil bilateral trade ties,” the CEO said.

Tradeling is an exhibitor at the Economic Forum Brazil & Arab Countries, which is taking place online from October 19 to 22. Check out the full coverage on ANBA.

Translated by Guilherme Miranda

Press Release

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