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Pakistan-based agri-supply chain platform, Jiye Technologies has raised $2.5 M in its pre-seed funding round. The round saw participation from Sarmayacar represented by Rabeel Warraich, Access Bridge Ventures represented by Issa Aghabi, Jabbar Internet Group represented by Samih Toukan, EquiTie represented by Ahmed El Hamawy, and Seedstars represented by Charlie Graham-Brown with further involvement from a strategic angel network hailing from MENAP, Europe & North America.
Founded by Ali Amin (Ex-Careem & Swvl), Osama Salman (Ex Unilever & Swvl ), and Ahmed Bilal Afzal (10 Years + supply chain experience) Jiye is set out to revolutionize the agri-supply chain in a country. The founders bring strategic backgrounds of conventional Agri trade, supply chain & early-stage startup scaling to form the formidable trio. Jiye technologies aims to revolutionize the agri-sector in Pakistan by giving farmers easier access to major markets and convenient sourcing to retailers through lean supply chain ecosystems.
This investment, along with Pre-Seed rounds by AgriTechs EasyFresh Technologies and Agriculture Republic, finally puts the Pakistani Agriculture sector on the map. With vast lands and immense untapped opportunity, possible through Tech and digitization, the Pakistani Agriculture sector is yet another uncharted territory for the VC world to explore. The Agriculture sector in MENA was one of the hotspots for investors looking to back impact-driven startups, where AgriTechs based in MENA closed 6% of all impact-investment deals in MENA between 2016 and Q3 2021. There have been some interesting breakthroughs in the Agriculture industry across MENA this year marked by growth in funding. Mostly concentrated between the UAE and KSA, 8 Agriculture startups raised 10 funding rounds across MENA in 2021 YTD. Two rounds by KSA-based Red Sea Farms, designing ingenuous Tech to tackle sustainable farming, drove the 4,100% YoY funding growth of the Agriculture sector in KSA, while this marks the 4th transaction closed by a UAE-based AgriTech by November 2021. In Turkey, the Agricultural sector has been observing a 3-year consecutive growth in funding, to grow capital deployed in the industry by more than 3,400% since 2018. Turkey’s AgriTech funding rounds in 2021 exceeded $15M with the latest investment in AgriTech Tarfin, along with sizable rounds closed by two Tech-enabled smart farming startups Plant Factory and Hextech Green Makine, as well as one other finance-focused AgriTech AgrioFinans.
Scaling more than 30x in just five months, with a rapidly growing team of 150+, Jiye Technologies is expanding to five major cities in Pakistan, making it the fastest-growing agri-supply chain marketplace in the country. Ahmed Bilal Afzal, Co-Founder of Jiye Technologies, being an experienced supply chain expert with over 10 years of experience in planning and managing logistics, highlighted “We saw the supply chain inefficiencies and its fallouts creating a downward spiral of issues for Pakistan, I always wanted to leverage my experience to solve problems for the masses and capitalize on technology to create a larger impact”.
Despite being the 5th largest population with a staggering 56Mn acres of crop-able land - one of highest in the world, agriculture in Pakistan has grown at a meager 2% YOY in the past decade, which seems like a challenge yet an opportunity at the same time, the startup understands the great potential hidden within the sector, awaiting disruption. With change, agility & tech at its core; Jiye Technologies is geared to reimagine the ailing Agri supply chain in Pakistan, thereby impacting about 70% of the population directly associated with agriculture, evolving a sector that contributes over 19% to the country’s GDP. “We’re driven by impact; we like to bring positive change in categories which impact the masses in Pakistan, hence, we chose to fix a phenomenon that touches almost 70% of the country’s population,” commented Co-Founder Ali Amin.
Osama Salman, Co-Founder of Jiye Technologies building on his diverse experience in multiple domains including retail and rapid scale-up Unicorn -swvl, said, “The Agri supply chain landscape provides the unimaginable scope of revolution as it holds low to zero sophistication at all value chain touchpoints. From disrupting the conventional marketplace through tech integration and providing access to produce, we simultaneously aim to build an efficient end-to-end supply chain till the retail stage, where ease of doing business has never been thought of. This approach will bring real uplift in communities of a country where 44% of disposable income is spent on food.”
With its newly acquired funds, the Pakistan-based AgriTech plans to roll out new FinTech solutions promoting financial inclusion as well as expand its market into MENA in 2022 to capitalize on the $120Bn market. Issa Aghabi, Managing Partner at Access Bridge Ventures reflecting on their debut investment into Pakistan and the future he envisions concluded “Access Bridge backs promising startups like Jiye technologies and supports them financially and strategically in their journey to become category leaders. Jiye Technologies, with its experienced team, is looking to disrupt the local farming supply chain by creating better processes and efficiencies while catering to the needs of its stakeholders. This marks our 7th investment this year and our first in Pakistan. We have been extremely bullish about the Pakistani market and truly excited to be part of the journey ahead.”
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