Now, call in your groecery needs through Etisalat. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE telecom giant Etisalat has bought out an online grocery company. The acquiring of Dubai-based elGrocer will prove a fit for the telco given its recent and steady expansion of its food delivery business 'Smiles'.

ElGrocer will thus be the natural extension of its digital consumer focussed offerings. “Considering Etisalat’s leadership role in the acceleration of UAE’s digital transformation, we have been continuously working on new, innovative digital services," said Khaled ElKhouly, Chief Consumer Officer of Etisalat UAE. "This acquisition is in line with our strategy to empower consumers, enhance engagement through our digital marketplace platform and drive diversification of our business.”

The value of the deal has not been disclosed. Online food and grocery order services continue to record strong double-digit growth month-on-month, and Smiles has made headway in the F&B space. ElGrocer has held its own on the grocery side prior to the buy from Etisalat.

We started the elGrocer journey to bring a new and superb grocery shopping experience to people in the UAE. Now, we start a new chapter combining what we have built with Etisalat’s innovative services and Smiles’ powerful offering, as we look forward to providing customers with even more delightful experiences and benefits.”

- Nader Amiri, founder and COO of elGrocer

Founded in 2015, elGrocer has its reach in all the emirates. It brings together major retailers and specialty stores on a single platform with more than 500 outlets and 120,000 products listed. In addition, the portal has partnerships with local FMCG companies for collaborations to drive exposure of their brands.