The coffee industry is the second largest traded after oil and has long been fragmented despite being one of the fastest growing globally and in the Middle East and North Africa region.

In recent years, coffee has become one of the amply targeted industries by several startups in the Middle East region with the most pushing for e-commerce. As of March 2023, data shows that more than two billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide daily.

But, it needs to be digitalized.

One of the leading startups in this sector, COFE, a UAE-based online marketplace is using its digital apps to deliver coffee across the region.

The startup has now raised a $25 million investment to expand its business from the UAE and Saudi Arabia to Egypt, in North Africa. COFE began its business earlier this year in Egypt with a soft launch in a few select cities and hopes to fully set up its operations in more cities by mid-June.

Boasting the biggest coffee market in Saudi Arabia, the company partnered with the Private Investment Fund (PIF)’s Saudi Coffee Company to invest $319 million in the national coffee sector for the next ten years and probably increase annual output from 300 tonnes to over 2,500 tonnes by 2030.

To catch up with this, the firm is directly pushing to digitise the in-store coffee experience from a consumer and merchandising standpoint. Here, customers can pay in advance to purchase coffee beans and other items sold in cafes through its monthly subscription service, pickup, curbside, delivery services, reward programs, and other features.

Recently, it introduced a 10-minute delivery service that enables customers to order a cup of coffee from a café in their vicinity and have it delivered to them. Over 5,000 outlets are listed on COFE's app, and the company now collaborates with about 1,300 companies across its major three marketplaces.