The launch marks the start of North African startup Yassir's ambitious expansion plans for South Africa over this coming year.
Yassir South Africa general manager Timothy Kiluba notes that speed, variety and affordability have been central to Yassir’s popularity in other African markets, with over eight million users across the continent.
“Yassir Express is specifically designed for convenience, with a user-friendly and intuitive app that makes grocery shopping easier than ever,” he says.
“Our business model is also unique in that we rely exclusively on dark stores and last-mile delivery. This ensures that our prices remain highly competitive and, most importantly, that we can offer faster and more reliable delivery times with a target of less than 30 minutes from purchase to arrival. Our aim is to consistently meet our promise to users, providing a seamless shopping experience that removes all inconvenience or hassle.”
Yassir Express has launched several dedicated dark stores or sophisticated warehouses to serve users across northern regions of Johannesburg and Centurion.
Instead of relying on traditional retail stores for supplies, which often sell out of products and are subject to time delays, these dark stores are not open to the public. The company says this model allows its staff staff to quickly assemble shopping baskets and dispatch them to any location within a large radius of their stores.
“Our dark store model means that we can avoid inflating any product costs on our platform, making shopping more affordable. Rather than being limited to retail times, shoppers can also place their orders from as early as 6am to 10 pm, and we do not place any limits on the number of items ordered or basket sizes, giving you the freedom to buy as many products from our catalogue as you would like.”
Yassir Express will be offering free delivery and R75 off each user’s first purchase.
Founded in 2017 by Noureddine Tayebi, Yassir already boasts a presence in five other countries across North Africa, including Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia and parts of French-speaking Africa. It was recently awarded $150m in Series B funding by investors to fuel its expansion drive into new international markets, beginning with South Africa as the next milestone in its fast-growing network.
While the company’s headlights are initially focused on Gauteng, it plans to expand its services across the province and nationwide over the coming months, with cities such as Cape Town and Durban on the horizon.
“Given high demand for on-demand delivery within South Africa, our goal is to expand rapidly over the next 12 months as users discover the benefits of our platform,” states Kiluba.
“Our Gauteng launch is just the first step in our plans for the local market, and we look forward to making many more exciting announcements about further investments and growth into other regions soon.”
The Yassir Express service is currently available in Johannesburg North and Centurion.