e& is opening up a whole world of possibilities in the day-to-day needs of its users. And not just on calls and using internet data. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The UAE tech-telecom company e& (formerly Etisalat) keep expanding its super-app possibilities, by completing the 100 per cent acquisition of ServiceMarket. The latter is an online marketplace for household services, and e& will incorporate this under its ‘Smiles’ umbrella.

Last year, e& bought the grocery portal elGrocer as it expanded the scope of day-to-day services that can be tapped via the app. The thinking is that those who use it for calls and web services will gravitate towards sourcing other requirements. In fact, e& has also been offering insurance-related services.

This acquisition (of ServiceMarket) is in line with the Group’s strategy to empower consumers, strengthen Smiles online marketplace presence, and drive diversification of our business," e& said in a statement. (The food delivery operations are done directly by the company.)

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According to market sources, there are a handful of UAE companies that could own-and-operate ‘super-apps’, where users come in for multiple needs over and above what that particular app was initially meant for.

“e& could move into more sophisticated financial services options for its user,” said a tech consultant. “It instantly connects the brand to a younger audience and also builds up greater usage from an older user profile.

“Careem too has been doing that recently, offering something other than ride-hailing and food orders.”

A basket of services
ServiceMarket offers more than 40 services under several categories across the UAE. "It enjoys a strong market position that will complement etisalat by e&’s existing marketplace services under t‘Smiles’," e& said in a statement.