Federal Minister for Planning, Development, Reforms, and Special Initiatives Asad Umar took to Twitter to congratulate Pakistani startup Bazaar for their recent record Seed A funding.
He said, “Well done guys and girls in the Bazar team. Congrats on raising $30 million in series A funding. The largest so far by a Pakistani startup.”
He added, “Hope this is just the beginning of great things to come for you. Time for the Pakistani tech sector has arrived.”
Well done guys and girls in the Bazar team. Congrats on raising 30 million $ in series A funding. The largest so far by a Pakistani startup. Hope this is just the beginning of great things to come for you. Time for the Pakistani tech sector has arrived 👍https://t.co/Uss9IJZt7c
— Asad Umar (@Asad_Umar) August 24, 2021
The news came to light on 24th when the country was still rejoicing about the recent record $85 million series B funding by another startup Airlift.
News broke as leading entrepreneurship news outlet TechCrunch reported on Tuesday, “Bazaar said on Tuesday it has raised $30 million in a Series A round. The new financing round — the largest Series A in Pakistan — was led by Silicon Valley-based early-stage VC Defy Partners and Singapore-based Wavemaker Partners.”
So, what is Bazaar?
Quoting Tech Crunch, Bazaar is “A one-year-old startup that is building a business-to-business marketplace for merchants in Pakistan and also helping them digitize their bookkeeping…”
Its mobile-only B2B e-commerce marketplace enables retailers in Karachi and Lahore to buy inventory for their stores. However, Easy Khata, another app by Bazaar which is nationally available, allows retailers all over Pakistan to manage their bookkeeping.
According to the startup, both apps have served over 750,000 merchants to date, and have an amazing 90 per cent retention rate.
Menabytes, which covers startups and tech from the MENA region, quoted Bazaar saying “The strong engagement and retention come as a result of its deep focus on simplicity and delight in its products.”
It is worth mentioning that the startup has been able to achieve all this in a year, and the Easy Khata app was launched in 2021, which shows the growth potential.
It was noted by Bazaar’s co-founder Saad Jangda who reportedly said, “At stake is a booming $170 billion retail market in the world’s fifth-most populous nation that is yet to see much deployment of technology.”
There is a huge potential as there are as many as about 5 million micro, small and medium-sized businesses in Pakistan.
There are at least ten B2B e-commerce marketplaces currently operating in Pakistan, including Tajir, Dastgyr, Ratailo among others, with tens of millions (in venture capital) invested in the industry over the last twelve months. Bazaar, with this latest financing round, has now raised about $38 million to date, becoming the most financed startup.
Bazaar is a product of two childhood friends Hamza Jawaid and Saad Jangda. They reconnected in Dubai a few years ago, Tech Crunch wrote.
At the time, Jawaid was reportedly at McKinsey & Company while Jangda was working with Careem as a product manager for ride-hailing and food delivery products.
Jangda took to Twitter on Tuesday to say, “Bazaar’s story started 15 months ago when Hamza and I moved back to Pakistan hoping to make a lasting impact in the country.”
Bazaar’s story started 15 months ago when Hamza and I moved back to Pakistan hoping to make a lasting impact in the country. Today, we take the next step in our journey. Proud, humbled and ecstatic to announce Bazaar’s $30M Series A. https://t.co/oq2ysvkRrv
— Saad Jangda (@saadjangda) August 24, 2021
Appreciations pouring in
Co-founder and CEO of Careem Mudassir Sheikh took to Twitter to say,” Bazaar’s execution has been exemplary on just the right dimensions. Moved fast, product-led, and strong team+culture.”
Bazaar’s execution has been exemplary on just the right dimensions. Moved fast, product-led, and strong team+culture. Their direct impact, role-modeling and ecosystem representation will be a big accelerator iA. Kudos @hamzajawaid @saadjangda @BazaarTechPK https://t.co/fFhrstxiid
— Mudassir Sheikha (@MudassirSheikha) August 24, 2021
Founder Indus Valley Capital Aatif Awan also congratulated the team saying, “It’s frankly mind-boggling to see all Bazaar has achieved in just 15 months. Congrats to the founders..”
1/ It's frankly mind boggling to see all Bazaar has achieved in just 15 months. Congrats to the founders @HamzaJawaid @saadjangda & the entire @bazaartechpk team on raising $30M in the largest Series A round in Pakistan https://t.co/qmfi0uJjF1
— Aatif Awan (@aatif_awan) August 24, 2021
Strategy advisor, a mentor to many successful startups, and former Executive Director of National Incubation Center, LUMS, Faisal Sherjan said, “It is happening quite rapidly now. We are likely to close deals worth another 70-80 Million USD in the next 4 months.”
He added. “This will be the best year yet with 300 Million USD coming in. With a bit of tweaking we can create more ease of business and build a bigger investment pipeline”.