In the words of English poet and author, Geoffrey Chaucer, “All good things must come to an end”. News channels and consumers went crazy a few days ago when several sources announced that Glovo, the trending, on-demand service app, was closing its doors to the Egyptian public.
But why did news about the shutdown of a relatively new start-up go viral? Well first, let’s familiarise those who are hearing its name for the first time, what Glovo essentially is. Glovo is originally a Spanish start-up that was founded in Barcelona in 2015. The nature of the service includes purchasing, picking up, and delivering any product that you desire right to your doorstep. One of the means of delivery is by bicycle, which gives the start-up an environmental edge, especially if the courier cannot afford his own motorcycle or car.
Naturally, it came as no surprise when many Egyptians were intrigued by the idea of not having to leave the house to get what they wanted. Based on our trial of the app about a year ago, there were quite a few kinks that needed ironing out, including delivery time, charges, and customer service. However, it seems that Glovo must have grown on the public since then because its couriers spread suddenly and extensively throughout the streets of Cairo. Moreover, in less than a year, it has reportedly gained at least 3,000 active delivery partners in Egypt, and has been downloaded over 16 million times.
Eventually, every story has an ending, but the abrupt termination of the company was not the final chapter that Egyptians were expecting. Ahram Online received a message from Glovo partners in Egypt on Monday, which read: “We would like to inform you of a decision to halt our operations in Egypt indefinitely on Tuesday 30 April.” It added, “We will send you another message on Tuesday to inform you of further support and to answer any of your inquiries.”
So which parties will suffer the consequences of this decision? Apart from the countless consumers and delivery partners, of course, 40 Glovo employees, most of whom were in customer care, will be left jobless, according to MENAbytes. One of the employees stated, “All of us are heartbroken. It’s a really sad outcome for each one of us.” Fortunately, they were compensated until the end of their contract, as per local labour law, and will continue to work for the next few weeks until all the procedures are finalised.
It’s a shame that such a valuable service will be denied to the Egyptian society, as well as the Chilean society as per our knowledge, but every cloud has a silver lining. We’re just waiting to find it.