E-commerce startup Bazaar raises $30 million Series A funding
KARACHI: After Airlift’s $85 million, a business-to-business marketplace, Bazaar, has raised $30 million in a Series A round, which takes the total investment in Pakistan’s startup space to over $250 million, a statement said on Tuesday.
Analysts believe the successive financing rounds have laid the foundations of a new era in Pakistan where technology startups alone could contribute to more than 10 per cent of the foreign direct investment (FDI) in the upcoming years.
There are around 5 million micro, small, and medium-sized businesses in Pakistan. Like India, even as a significant portion of the population has come online, most merchants remain unconnected.
Bazaar’s business-to-business marketplace, which provides merchants with the ability to procure inventories at a standard price and choose from a much larger catalog, is currently available in Karachi and Lahore.
The new financing round was led by Silicon Valley-based early stage VC Defy Partners and Singapore-based Wavemaker Partners.
Scores of other investors, including current and former leaders of Antler, Careem, Endeavor, Gumroad, LinkedIn and Notion, as well as new investors Acrew Capital, Japan’s Saison Capital, the UAE’s Zayn Capital and B&Y Venture Partners and existing investors Indus Valley Capital, Global Founders Capital, Next Billion Ventures, and Alter Global also participated in the new round.
“We’ve been investing in FMCG B2B marketplaces across the region since 2017,” said Paul Santos, managing partner at Wavemaker Partners, in a statement.
“It’s no surprise that they’ve received glowing reviews from their customers and partners. We’re excited to support Bazaar, as they solidify their market leadership and digitise Pakistan’s retail ecosystem,” he added.
The startup said it has amassed over 750,000 merchants since launch last year with a 90 per cent retention rate. The startup eventually wants to become a super app, or a broader operating system for retail in Pakistan. It plans to deploy the fresh funds to expand its services to more cities across Pakistan and build and scale more products.
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