Pakistan-based 'buy together and save together' platform DealCart secures $4.5M in a Pre-SEED round to offer affordable E-commerce in the country.
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Karachi-based social commerce platform DealCart has raised a $4.5M Pre-SEED funding round led by Shorooq Partners with participation from Fatima Gobi Ventures, Vibe Capital, 500 Global, i2i Ventures, Rally Cap Ventures, and several strategic angel investors. Established in March this year by co-founders Haider Raza and Ammar Naveed, DealCart is a group buying platform that provides underserved communities with access to affordable daily essential products in a gamified and interactive manner.
As recorded in our State of Startup Funding - H1 2022 Emerging Venture Markets Report, Pakistan has already aggregated 75% of FY’21 funding in H1 2022. The Pakistani VC space is gaining more and more traction as startups develop digital and tech disruptions to cater to underserved segments and enhance traditional industries like Retail. Reflecting the need for digitization, it was FinTech, Transport & Logistics (T&L), and E-commerce that closed the lion’s share of investments in H1 2022, sizable investments have been deployed backing FinTech and E-commerce solutions including $70M in Bazaar and $17M in Abhi. This latest investment indicates healthy Early-Stage (Pre-SEED to Pre-Series A) dynamics in the region. Pakistan has been raising sizable Early-Stage rounds including the likes of T&L startup Truck It In's $13M SEED and HealthTech startup MEDZnMORE's $11.5M Pre-Series A.
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Despite the burgeoning growth in smartphone and internet penetration, E-commerce adoption remains low among the middle and lower-middle income segments, which constitutes the majority of Pakistan’s 220M population. The main reason being that E-commerce marketplaces today primarily serve higher income groups, offering premium electronics, fashion apparel, and various goods and services through quick commerce. Haider Raza, co-founder of DealCart, shares: “Pakistan has recently seen a surge in social media users, a phenomenon that generally precedes these users transacting online for their daily needs. DealCart seeks to use this opportunity to introduce our group buying platform with the aim to enable more people to get access to their favourite brands at extremely affordable prices.”
Recognizing that the majority of the population values and prioritizes the affordability of daily essential products, DealCart is addressing the unmet E-commerce need through its 'buy together and save together' model, which allows users to buy in groups, as well as share deals on messaging platforms and social media. Ammar Naveed, co-founder of DealCart, adds: “Our focus from day one has been the long-term commercial sustainability of the company; we want to create a business which has solid foundations and is aligned with the new reality of the global financial markets. We plan to do this by having a super lean cost structure, while expanding and growing the business primarily through our technology.”
The platform is aiming to empower customers with the ability to place larger orders as a group, unlocking lower prices for all, while providing a new, engaging and community-centric way to shop. DealCart also aims to increase nationwide awareness and visibility for locally manufactured brands through its platform. Omer Zabit, Principal at Shorooq Partners said: “We are humbled to be partnering with DealCart and to be taking part in the take-off of this incredible journey. The founders' customer-centric approach and strong commitment to growth, make us certain they are the right partner to back in Pakistan's first group buying app. Given their deep expertise in consumer tech, we have no doubt that this will be a unique success story and are very excited to see what the future holds for DealCart.”
DealCart will be utilizing the funds to further product development and team expansion. Fatima Gobi Ventures’ General Partner Ali Mukhtar concluded, “Given the rising cost of living across the world, there is greater demand for solutions like DealCart that are enabling access to affordable daily necessities. We have high conviction in the team and model as it fits perfectly within FGV’s investment strategy, which is to fund high-growth tech companies that have the ability to generate scalable impact. We look forward to supporting Haider, Ammar and their team, and we’re excited to be part of their journey.”
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