DHL grow its logistics business, by acquiring stake in Mall for Africa’s Link Commerce

The logistics firm DHL has acquired an undisclosed minority stake in Mall for Africa’s Link Commerce, in a bid to grow its logistics business in Sub-Saharan Africa and other global emerging e-commerce markets.

The acquisition in Link Commerce, the UK-based e-commerce firm helped it launch its DHL Africa eShop platform. DHL went live with the digital retail app in April, bringing more than 200 U.S. and U.K. sellers — from Neiman Marcus to Carters — online to African consumers.

The move to offer Africa eShop to 20 of the continent’s 54 countries comes a month after Africa’s most visible (and well-funded) e-tailer, Jumia, went public. Jumia — which operates consumer retail and online service verticals in 14 African countries — raised more than $200 million in an NYSE IPO.

Africa eShop operates using startup’s white label fulfillment service, Link Commerce. Payment methods include local fintech options, such as Nigeria’s Paga and Kenya’s M-Pesa.

In a statement, Hennie Heymans, CEO of DHL Express sub-Saharan Africa, said,

“Acquiring a stake in Link Commerce – the company behind the platform – shows our tremendous support of e-commerce in Africa. It also positions us to realize our ambitions of growing the eShop offering globally, and work on the scalability of the platform when the opportunity arises.”

As part of the acquisition, Heymans has been made a board member of London-based Link Commerce Ltd.

“We have no doubt that deepening our partnership with Link Commerce in this way will take both companies, as well as e-commerce on the continent and new markets across the globe, to new heights. I am honoured to take on this new role as part of DHL’s growth strategy.”

The DHL Africa eShop offers African consumers unprecedented access to international retailers via an easy-to-use platform, with great convenience, speed and reliability. It enables African customers to shop directly from over 200 US- and UK-based online retailers, with purchases delivered directly to their door, by DHL Express.