Tuesday July 23, 2024

Startup Bazaar raises $70mn to digitise Pakistan’s retail

By Bilal Hussain
March 16, 2022

Karachi: Pakistani startup Bazaar Technologies had raised $70 million in Series B funding round, the company said on Tuesday.

Bazaar is a business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform that was launched during peak of Covid-19 in June 2019.

The company has also attracted $1.3 million in pre-seed funding, $6.5 million in seed funding, and $30 million in Series A funding. The Series B funding round was led by Dragoneer Investment Group and Tiger Global, the startup said via Twitter.The funding also included other investors namely Indus Valley Capital, Defy., Acrew Capital, Wavemaker Partners, B&Y Venture Partners, and Zayn Capital.

The B2B e-commerce platform is tapping the digital potential of the country’s retail sector. It offers procurement solutions to small and medium size retailers. According to details on its website, the startup has already penetrated into 21 cities.

Bazaar targets the 5 million or so small and medium-sized retailers operating across Pakistan and eyes to cover more than 100 urban and rural centres across the country, and build largest network to move any category of goods from point A to B wherever is needed.

In a recent interview, one of its founders Hamza Jawaid said the fund raising sends a huge message, “it proves that you can build large and scalable businesses in Pakistan, and that should be an inspiration to other founders and entrepreneurs”.

Technology startups in Pakistan have attracted interest from investors within the country. Last year, another ecommerce platform Airlift secured $85 million in the largest Series B financing in Pakistan. Overall, startups attracted $350 million in funding last year. “Startups like Bazaar Technologies will eventually benefit fintechs as they will get data of small and medium size stores,” said Badar Khushnood, chairman Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA). “Moreover, these startups are poised to bring efficiency to the retail sector.”

He said the country’s total business-to-consumer (B2C) ecommerce market size was $4 billion, adding that platforms like Bazaar had digitised wholesale-to-retail commerce sector. “The wholesale and retail trade sector is the largest sub-sector of services in the country, maintaining a growth of 7.5 percent in the FY 2017-18, and contributing around 18.2 percent to GDP in FY 2019-20,” he shared.

“Within retail trade, around 54 percent of the retail units are engaged in the sale of food, beverages, and tobacco, and 80 percent of these are located in urban areas, employing 33 percent of the informal labor force.”