On Thursday, Pakistani startup “Oware” announced a $3.3 billion seed funding round. The startup believes that the outdated logistics infrastructure has mired the growth of businesses in the country. “Oware” claims to offer a cost-effective solution to modernize the antiquated supply chain systems.
Founded by Raza Kazmi and Adil Nasar, the company promises to end logistical problems of businesses. The company assists other businesses to track and manage inventory through flexible warehousing and an efficient distribution system. Currently, Owares owns and operates 15 warehouses and covers a square foot area of approximately 350,000. The company offers the space for rent for warehousing purposes to businesses looking for a scalable and affordable solution to warehousing technicalities. In addition, the company also ensures the timely delivery of the deliverables to the end consumers. According to sources privy to the matter, the company offers same-day delivery to approximately 75 percent of its customers and “next day delivery” to 85 percent of its customers.
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Oware handles everything from packaging to delivery and simultaneously offers real-time tracking services. Finally, the company is looking to develop digital systems that connect the customer with the inventory management system so that the customers enjoy better visibility of the stock levels.
Adil Nasar, one of the co-founders of Oware, says that “Our solution to that problem is based on a shared infrastructure that enables businesses to build sales without substantially increasing their costs,.” He explains that “The aim is to level the playing field for Pakistani businesses because it’s currently only the large multinationals that have access to modern systems.”
Co-founder Oware Raza Kazmi, who was formerly the Chief Financial Officer at Burque Corporation Private Limited – one of the largest sales management and distribution companies in Pakistan, says that “Local businesses remain trapped in an archaic and opaque environment dealing with antiquated supply chain systems that are no longer fit for purpose and remain slow, limited, and capital intensive.” He believes that “The time to set up operations is too long, there is limited visibility or tracking of orders, and the execution of processes is inefficient in terms of speed and cost, which we are on a mission to solve.”
After entering the market, “Oware” spurred quite a bit of interest from potential consumers, and more than 30 businesses have already signed up for its services. However, to expand its operations, the company requires capital to manage upfront financial costs, for which it signed up for seed funding. Oware’s $3.3 million funding round is backed by investors including Flexport Fund, Ration Ventures, Seedstars International Ventures, Sketchnote Partners, The Osiris Group, Swiss Founders Fund, and Reflect Ventures, +92 Ventures, and Walled City Co.
It is pertinent to mention that Pakistani startups have raised $163m through 15 deals during the first three months of 2022. According to Invest2Innovate, a Pakistani consultancy firm, the sector raised more than fifty percent of what was raised in all of 2021 ($350m).