The number of delivery apps operating in Saudi Arabia has risen by over 460 percent in two years, the Communications and Information Technology Commission, revealed.
Delivery apps have jumped from three in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 17 at the end of 2021, the Kingdom’s digital regulator added.
The rapid development of the delivery app ecosystem was made possible by CITC’s new regulatory sandbox, according to the statement.
The sandbox initiative paved the way to Jahez, an online food delivery platform, that became the first company in the Kingdom to IPO in 2022, valued at SR8.9 billion ($2.3 billion).
Upon the initiative, Saudi online ordering activity has seen an increase, with the daily average of requests rising from 117,000 in the fourth quarter of 2019 to 525,000 in the same period of 2021.
The average monthly order value also increased from SR310 million to SR1.75 billion over the same period.
Launched in 2020, the initiative’s first phase was introduced as a response to the jump in demand for online commerce during the pandemic. It provides a regulatory environment, where delivery agents test new apps.
This comes amid CITC's efforts to drive innovation and localization in the sector while ensuring that the Kingdom keeps pace with the fast-emerging digital economy.