The round also saw participation from several renowned global investors: S7V, Wavemaker Partners, Derayah Venture Capital, and Next Billion Ventures, all of whom are making their first investments in Pakistan, whilst existing investor Alter Global also participated.
Bazaar also brought on board a group of angel investors, including current and former leaders of Careem, a partner at DST Global, and founders of other prominent B2B startups including Maxab (Egypt), Ula (Indonesia), and Sokowatch (Africa).
The investment marks one of the largest Seed rounds raised by a startup in the MENAP region - a huge milestone for the rapidly developing tech ecosystem in Pakistan. This takes the 8-month-old startup's total funding to $7.8M.
Bazaar was co-founded by Saad Jangda and Hamza Jawaid, who are on a mission to bring together and cultivate talent both in Pakistan and the diaspora to ultimately create a platform that further enables entrepreneurship in the country. Prior to Bazaar, Jangda was a product manager for ride-hailing and food delivery products at Careem, while Jawaid was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company, based in Dubai.
The startup's aim is to digitize traditional retail in Pakistan. Using the country’s rising mobile adoption, Bazaar is looking to empower the millions of SMEs that dominate the market by providing significant value and convenience through various digital products.
As their first product, Bazaar has created a mobile-based B2B e-commerce marketplace that enables mom-and-pop grocery stores (called kiryana stores) to purchase directly from manufacturers, wholesalers, and suppliers. The Bazaar App provides kiryana owners with a large assortment of branded and unbranded products, which can be ordered at any time, any day with free next-day delivery. On one end of the marketplace, kiryana owners benefit from Bazaar App's convenient ordering, reliable delivery, and competitive prices. Suppliers, on the other end, through Bazaar get a direct-to-retail channel and are provided actionable insights on purchase patterns and trends.
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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, Managing Partner at Indus Valley Capital added, “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 $150B retail industry in Pakistan."
Co-Founder Hamza Jawaid commented, “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% of our customers own and operate smartphones, yet their way of running a business has not changed, until now. By bringing them online, we can meaningfully improve their business and their lives, freeing up time to focus on the most important tasks, eventually enabling greater returns."
Within eight months of launch, Bazaar has served over 10,000 retailers in Karachi and has a catalogue of over 500 SKUs on its platform.
“At Bazaar, we believe that building the technology layer for traditional commerce is a massive opportunity. 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,” said Saad Jangda, Co-Founder of Bazaar.
With this fresh round of funding, Bazaar plans to expand its footprint across Pakistan, build its product capabilities, and deepen its relationship with customers by offering more value-added services.
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