Quiqup, the startup empowering local London businesses in the fight against Amazon

For Londoners, speedy delivery apps aren’t anything new. But Quiqup isn’t your average one-hour delivery service, nor is it trying to be. Instead this Android, iOS and web-based app is here to connect London’s local businesses with its residents and help them discover new businesses.

We caught up with Quiqup co-founder Bassel El Koussa to find out what makes Quiqup so special, and why Londoners will want to push back against the might of Amazon.

Where did the big idea for Quiqup come from?

We launched Quiqup in September 2014, with a founding team of five – myself, Tim Linssen, Federico Ferraro, Rami Idriss and Danny Hawkins.

The idea came about following the realisation that time is an increasingly important commodity for both consumers and businesses in London. To combat this, Quiqup allows users to purchase the items they need, when they need them, with just a few clicks.

What’s the big problem that Quiqup aims to solve?

By using Quiqup, customers can avoid the stress, crowds, traffic and queues when making last-minute purchases, and save hours, safe in the knowledge that we will deliver direct to their home or office.

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Bassel El Koussa

The app and web platform covers the best of the city, including independent stores and places to eat, and it recommends new outlets, inspiring user discovery and choice. In this way, Quiqup is also providing an e-commerce solution, supporting local businesses and helping them reach new customers, grow and succeed.

Without our help, many retailers and restaurants wouldn’t be able to offer delivery within the hour and, therefore, it’s providing bricks-and mortar establishments with a whole new digital service and an extra revenue stream.

Since Quiqup started, what’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?

Like many technology-focused startup businesses, we experience challenges all the time, but because we have a strong team, we’re able to work through them. So I’d say one of our biggest successes has been in putting that team together and also ensuring that everyone is working towards the same goals and has the same values.

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We achieve this by making sure we give our employees the scope to be creative, accountable and reach their full potential. For example, we have one employee who started with us as a driver (we call them Quiqees) and is now working as a programmer, proving that we encourage people to grow and develop within our organisation.

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Where do you see Quiqup being in five years’ time?

Ultimately, we see Quiqup as an international business, operating in metropolitan cities around the world.

In the short term, however, we have great plans for this year – as well as announcing a number of exciting new partnerships, we’re also aiming to expand within London and potentially other areas.

Right now, we’re working with around 200 businesses in the capital, both large and independent, including Bell & Sons, Borough Wines, Busaba Eathai, Catalyst Activewear, Dunkin’ Donuts, Lobster Kitchen, Raw Press, the Primrose Bakery and Wild At Heart.

We’re also constantly working to make sure our tech is cutting-edge and to improve our system, so that it can take into account factors such as traffic, events, weather, timings and driver expertise – all to help the customer experience be the best it can be.   

If there’s one thing you wish you’d known before you started, what would that be?

Again, it probably comes down to team, relationships and communication, and how important it is to hire the right people and motivate them in the right way. As with many founders, we were very focused just on the product to begin with, but quickly realised how important the team is too – it really is a key factor in our success.

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