Bazaar, a Pakistan-based B2B e-commerce startup, has raised $6.5 million in one of the region’s largest seed rounds, reported MENAbytes.
The seed funding round was co-led by Berlin-based Global Founders Capital and Indus Valley Capital. This is Global Founders Capital’s first investment in Pakistan, while Indus Valley Capital is Pakistan-focused and had also led the company’s pre-seed round in June last year.
It is the second-largest seed round ever raised by a startup in the Middle East, North Africa, and the largest in Pakistan, MENAbytes data showed. This takes Bazaar’s total raise to date to $7.8 million, making it one of the best-funded startups of Pakistan.
Bazaar was launched eight months ago as a startup digitizing traditional retail in Pakistan. It is founded by Saad Jangda, former product manager at Careem, and Hamza Jawaid, former management consultant at McKinsey.
The startup offers a mobile-based e-commerce marketplace that enables people running neighborhood grocery stores (locally known as kiryana stores) to purchase the inventory for their stores from manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers. The app features over 500 stock keeping units (SKUs) of branded and unbranded products, offering free next-day delivery.
A statement by the startup, explaining its value proposition, said that on one end of the marketplace, the ‘kiryana’ owners benefit from the Bazaar app’s convenient ordering, reliable delivery, and competitive prices, while on the other end, Suppliers get a direct-to-retail channel through Bazaar and are provided actionable insights on purchase patterns and trends.
When Bazaar started operating, the initial target was to reach 800 retailers in Karachi by the end of 2020. The initiative closed the year with over 10,000 retailers, beating their initial targets, both in terms of the number of users served through the platform and GMV, by over ten times.
Tito Costa, Partner at Global Founders Capital, said, “We are excited to back an extraordinary team in their journey to help millions of small shops in Pakistan digitize their retail business.”
Aatif Awan, the Managing Partner at Indus Valley Capital, said,
When we invested in Bazaar in May, they set ambitious targets for 2020. They went on to crush those goals by 10x. Indus Valley Capital is thrilled to double down on Bazaar and strengthen our partnership to revolutionize the $150 billion retail industry in Pakistan.
Co-founder Bazaar, Hamza Jawaid, said,
As the fifth largest country in the world with rising digital adoption, we have an incredible opportunity to empower micro-businesses through technology. Over 80 percent of our customers own and operate smartphones, yet their way of running a business has not changed, until now.
He said that by bringing them online, the startup could meaningfully improve their businesses.
Co-founder Saad said,
With the sheer size of the Pakistani market, a new narrative and spotlight on our ecosystem, and an abundance of Pakistanis moving back home, we finally have all the right fundamentals to build massive tech institutions. We have been blown away by our early team and humbled by the roster of investors who are supporting us on this journey. It is further validation of the sheer yet untapped potential of tech in our country.