The Middle East and North Africa region may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about thriving technology and innovation hubs, but numbers prove that MENA is a true force to be reckoned with.

Nearly $1 billion was invested in startups across the region only in the first half of the year, shattering 2020 records and spotlighting the United Arab Emirates as the most attractive place for investment-mainly thanks to its early embrace of entrepreneurship.

As regional governments look to further diversify their economies away from oil, there is great potential for European companies to venture into the MENA market and be part of the maturing tech ecosystem there while benefiting from its fast growth—driven by a relatively high level of digital connectivity and a large and young tech-savvy population.

Transmetrics, a leading software provider of predictive optimization solutions for the logistics industry, is a European company who has set its sights on MENA and has opened an office in Dubai to tap into the vast array of opportunities in the region.

Founded in 2013 and with offices in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia and Amsterdam, the company optimizes transport planning and asset management by leveraging the power of machine learning and predictive analytics. It combines the strengths of humans and artificial intelligence, ensuring the highest operational benefits and reducing the environmental impact of logistics.

Redefining logistics

Extreme inefficiencies in logistics, a sector which is responsible for 30% of the world’s carbon emissions, pose a serious challenge to the economy and the environment. In the European Union region alone, trucks are driving on average half-empty, wasting economic resources and causing unnecessary emissions.

Logistics companies worldwide that have worked with Transmetrics have experienced a reduction of up to 10% in transport costs while increasing their fleet utilization up to 14%, decreasing the fleet size by 12%, and maintaining high service levels.

Asparuh Koev, founder and CEO of Transmetrics (Image source: Transmetrics)

The company’s technology uses a unique approach for the analyzing, modeling, and predicting of transport flows with an accuracy of over 95%.

This advantage, according to the Transmetrics team, comes from combining the technical knowledge of big data and predictive analytics with hands-on expertise of their professional team in transport and logistics.

One major distinctive feature of Transmetrics’ software is that it can work even with low-quality data—which is common for the logistics industry—due to its data quality improvement module.

The company offers software-as-a-service (SaaS) products on a monthly subscription and says its software, which has been developed exclusively for logistics companies, can easily adapt to the client’s existing systems.

Under the leadership of its founder and CEO Asparuh Koev, the company has managed to gain the trust of some of the leading logistics companies in the world such as Kuehne+Nagel, DB Schenker, DPDgroup, and Gebrüder Weiss.

Timely decision   

Transmetrics’s decision to expand its physical footprint into the UAE could not have come at a better time given the fact that the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing e-commerce revolution, coupled with increasing international trade, have pushed the logistics sector to the fore in the emirate and beyond.

The freight and logistics market in the strategically located UAE was valued at $19.65 billion in 2020 and is forecast to reach $31.41 billion in 2026, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8.41%. The logistics sector in the country is expected to contribute 8% to the UAE economy this year, up from 5.4%.

AI is going to play a huge role in the development of the industry, with the global AI in the logistics and supply chain market ecosystem expected to reach $12 billion in 2027, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 24%.

Meanwhile, 36% of organizations have successfully adopted AI for logistics and supply chain processes, with 28% being at the threshold of bringing the technology to logistics considering that it is said to be able to increase productivity by more than 40% by the year 2035.

Transmetrics is confident that its technology can give players in the logistics industry a competitive advantage by helping them digitize their operations, introduce proactive and data-driven strategies, unlock the potential of their shipment data, minimize the uncertainty of resource planning for delivery, and improve customer service levels while reducing their environmental footprint in different parts of the world, including in the MENA region, which has been touted as “the future of global logistics”.    

To learn more about Transmetrics and its AI-driven solutions, visit their website here.

Disclaimer: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.