ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani e-commerce startup has raised $37 million in Series A investment, making it the country's largest-ever funding of its kind, it emerged Tuesday.
Dastgyr, an e-commerce marketplace platform, recently received an investment from VEON which is a global digital operator that provides mobile connectivity and services.
The investment positions Dastgyr to take advantage of VEON’s global expertise and its operating company, Jazz’s distribution network and digital payment solutions via JazzCash.
“Pakistan’s start-up ecosystem is at a critical juncture and only startups focused on addressing key challenges and adopting localised solutions will survive and thrive,” said Aamir Ibrahim, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jazz.
CEO of VEON Ventures Mohammad Khairil Abdullah said that the company is investing in leading digital companies like Dastagyr because “Pakistan, with its rapidly growing digital sector, is a key market for VEON.
"By bringing together Dagstyr's e-commerce business with Jazz's communications network and JazzCash's mobile payments platform, we will catalyse the growth in digital services in Pakistan. This would be further enhanced by the digital banking services that we have ambitions to provide.”
On the other hand, co-founder of Dastgyr Zohaib Ali said that he is "thrilled to achieve this milestone in the current global economic environment."
“We welcome the new investors to the Dastgyr family as we continue to work relentlessly toward our vision of building an Alibaba for emerging markets worldwide. We’re lucky to have found strategic partners who believe in our mission and have displayed unwavering faith in our team.
“Financial inclusion, which is central to the startup’s mission, will uplift and enable Pakistan’s small- and medium-sized retail entrepreneurs and unlock up to an additional $10 billion for the country’s GDP, according to our estimates.”
Dastgyr will remain an independent entity, with a minority position being taken by VEON Ventures. The new investment will support Dastgyr’s expansion into 15 new regions of Pakistan, alongside its existing network in Karachi, Lahore, Sheikhupura and Gujranwala.
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