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Lahore-based B2B social seller platform Zarya, has successfully raised $1.7M in its latest funding round. The Pre-Seed round was led by Raed Ventures, an early-stage investor in the MENA region, with additional participation from international and local investors Fatima Gobi Ventures, U.S.-based Class 5 Global, Global Founders Capital, and Egyptian social commerce startup Taager.
Headquartered in Lahore, Pakistan, Zarya is a digital wholesale platform for social sellers & retailers aiming to elevate bottom lines for smaller-sized sellers. In creating a comprehensive servicing package on-demand through a seamless platform, Zarya aims to eliminate the friction smaller-scale sellers face in sourcing products, arranging the delivery, and collecting payment. This allows sellers to maximize their earnings by freeing up time to focus on sales. Zarya’s founding team is made up of brothers Faisal and Saad Zahid. Faisal is a former director of product management at Careem, and most recently Saudi Arabia’s grocery startup Nana. Saad led operations for several businesses in Pakistan ranging from industrial-scale farms to steel manufacturing.
As most recently recorded in our Pakistan Q3 2021 Venture Investment Report, Pakistan’s E-commerce startups are driving investor participation to unprecedented levels as the E-commerce sector remains one of the main drivers of growth in the Pakistan startup ecosystem. Driven by a 355% YoY growth in funding, E-commerce startups in Pakistan raised almost 30% of all capital deployed nationally by Q3 2021. From E-commerce startups like Bazaar, Tajir, and Tazah to Fintech, online payment, and micro-financing solution providers like Oraan, Qisstpay, and Tag the Pakistani startup ecosystem has been adamant on creating an ingenious digital infrastructure to serve the increased adoption of the internet country-wide.
Many of Zarya’s customers are housewives looking to earn additional income. Currently, Zarya lists over 3,000 different items, of which a significant portion includes women’s and children's clothing. The platform is expanding its catalog to include new categories like abayas, shoes, socks, home textiles, and makeup. Commenting on the size of the opportunity, co-founder Faisal Zahid said, “Pakistan has over 100 million YouTube and 45 million Facebook users. Pakistan’s social media users are spending more than 3 hours per day on social media apps. If you’re spending so much time online, it's quite natural to start buying and selling while on social media apps. We aim to give our Sellers every opportunity to thrive in this environment.”
The funds will enable Zarya to broaden its supply offering while maintaining reliability. The Lahore-based team will channel the funds to further develop its offering and platform, to provide robust supply chain and process automation ensuring the reliability and customer-centricity of the service. “Raed sees the social commerce space growing rapidly in the MENAP region,” said Wael Nafee, Principal at Raed Ventures. “Similar markets such as India, China, and LATAM are showing early signs of its potential. Zarya's early commercial traction and product value in Pakistan demonstrate its strong ability to deliver the experience that independent sellers need. Raed is thrilled to partner with Zarya and its team."
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