Pakistan’s Dastgyr Technologies Pvt. has raised $37 million in the country’s largest-ever Series A funding.
According to Bloomberg, the venture arm of telecom operator Veon Ltd. spearheaded the raise, committing around 40 percent of the total investment. The other investors included Zinal Growth Fund, DEG, Khwarizmi Ventures, Oman Technology Fund, Cedar Mundi Ventures, Reflect Ventures, Century Oak Capital, Haitou Global, GoingVC, Astir Ventures, K3 Ventures, Chandaria Capital, SOSV, Edgebrook Partners, and EquiTie.
The round marks another step in Veon’s evolution beyond textbook telecom services. It has also applied for a digital banking license in Pakistan.
Veon Ventures’ Chief Executive, Mohammad Khairil Abdullah, said, “As part of Veon’s transformation into a digital operator that delivers a growing range of services to our customers we are investing in leading digital companies like Dastgyr in the countries where we operate. These investments are the building blocks of the digital ecosystem that will enable us to deliver on our strategy”.
“Pakistan’s start-up ecosystem is at a critical juncture and only startups focused on addressing key challenges and adopting localized solutions will survive and thrive,” added Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz. “This investment highlights VEON’s commitment to scaling up Pakistan’s digital economy and provides Dastgyr with a platform to build synergies with Jazz’s subscriber base of around 75 million and with JazzCash, further integrating the startup into Pakistan’s fintech ecosystem”.
Dastgyr’s co-founder, Zohaib Ali, stated that the business is committed “to work relentlessly toward our vision of building an Alibaba for emerging markets worldwide”.
Muhammad Owais, another co-founder, remarked that the company hopes to become a unicorn over the next few years. He said the company is currently expanding into new business-to-business markets such as cement, steel, and other building supplies, and is exploring electronics, pharmaceutical, and other retail industries.
Dastgyr, which was launched less than two years ago, is used by around 100,000 shops across five cities. It aims to reduce expenses by linking buyers and sellers via a digital platform rather than purchasing and keeping everything in physical warehouses. It also intends to enter 15 new markets in Pakistan and go overseas within this year.