Pakistani ride-hailing company Bykea raises $2M from Middle East Venture Partners

Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) has invested $2 Million in Pakistan-based startup Bykea, a platform for people to book motorbikes for transportation, deliveries and payment services.

MEVP is a Middle East venture capital firm that invests in innovative companies at their early growth stages, and is considered the largest VC firm in the region with more than $260 million assets under management.

The Managing Director at MEVP, Riyad Abou Jaoudeh, expressed that they are excited to make their first investment in Pakistan and that it's a great opportunity to solve major infrastructure issues using Bykea’s technology.

Muneeb Maayr, Founder at Bykea, said that this investment will help expand the company’s Logistics and Digital Cash Payment services across the country.

Bykea was launched in Karachi, Pakistan in December 2016 and is now operating in four cities in the country. The startup has over 2 million users and stands out from its competitors by offering the interface in the country’s native language, Urdu. The company also has a network of 200,000 registered Driver Partners, has access to one of the largest fleets of Pakistan, and provides technology solutions to transport and payments in a unique way.

With an increasing number of users, Bykea needs to have a steady supply of drivers, which is currently done through referrals, on-App registrations and franchises in the city. There have recently been significant recruitment activities by Bykea at roadside tea cafes as well.

Bykea also offers an IVR solution which enables anyone to book its services without a smartphone. This function increases its reach to the 161 million cellular subscribers in the country. Moreover, the startup is looking to partner with Pakistan’s leading banking providers to offer convenient, safe and fast services to its users in a country where 100 million people remain unbanked.

Earlier this year, Bykea has raised $5.7 million in a Series A investment round which was the highest funding amount raised by a Pakistani tech startup. Singapore-based Tharros and Pakistan-based Sarmayacar also joined this Series A round as investors. Prior to this, the startup received a SEED funding round led by Ithaca Capital, which has already made several venture capital investments in Pakistan.

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