Sastaticket.pk, an online travel agency (OTA) based in Karachi, Pakistan, announced today that it has secured US$1.5 M for its Series A, led by regional venture capital firm Gobi Partners.
The investment marks Gobi’s first venture into the Pakistani market and adds another pioneering company to its growing TaqwaTech portfolio.
Founded in September 2016 by brothers Shazil and Bilal Mehkri, Sastaticket.pk offers domestic travellers a way to book and pay for flights and hotels online.
Ever since its launch in 2016, the platform has experienced significant growth in GMV at 125% YoY, and number of orders at 155% YoY, and has over one million flight searches per month, indicating a clear market demand for the platform.
Sastaticket.pk claims that it is Pakistan’s largest OTA in terms of flight booking volume.
Currently, Pakistan is one of Asia’s fastest growing Internet markets, with over one million people going online via their mobile phones every month.
The e-commerce market has similarly witnessed phenomenal growth recently, driven by the country’s large population, rising middle class, and strong digital adoption rates; it is growing at a CAGR of over 100%, and as per Google’s analysis, will surpass the US$1 billion revenue mark by 2020.
In addition, the country’s travel market is showing great potential; it stood at US$8.8 billion in 2017, contributing 2.9% of the total GDP, and is forecasted to grow to US$16.4 billion by 2028, representing a CAGR of 5.8%.
Overall, Pakistani travellers face traditional challenges when it comes to booking their trips, due to the high fragmentation of offline travel suppliers as well as high fees being charged by “mom-and-pop” agencies.
As the online market in Pakistan matures, there is a growing need for users to be able to purchase their flights, hotels, packages, and other travel products via an online platform at a competitive price. Sastaticket.pk is offering these customers a better solution — democratizing access to travel suppliers and commoditizing travel transactions.