Pakistan-based B2B e-commerce marketplace Bazaar has raised a $6.5 million seed round led by Global Founders Capital and Indus Valley Capital.
The seed round is reportedly one of the largest raised in Pakistan and the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region, signaling a growing interest in these markets. With this round, the startup has raised $7.8 million to date. It last secured $1.3 million for its pre-seed round in June 2020.
Other investors who joined the round include Wavemaker Partners SEA, Next Billion Ventures, Derayah Venture Capital, S7V and Alter Global. Its angel investors include the current and former executives of Careem, a partner at DST Global, and founders of similar B2B startups such as Indonesia’s Ula, Egypt’s Maxab, and Africa’s Sokowatch.
Bazaar was co-founded by Hamza Jawaid and Saad Jangda, former senior executives at McKinsey and Careem. The Karachi-based company operates in a similar space as India’s Udaan, Vietnam’s Telio and Indonesia’s Ula and GudangAda, positioning itself as an online marketplace bridging the gap between wholesale suppliers and food/grocery retailers.
Bazaar’s mobile platform – which has served some 10,000 retailers to date – allows mom-and-pop grocery stores known as ‘kirana’ stores to purchase directly from manufacturers, wholesalers and suppliers online. The platform also offers these owners a catalogue of 500 branded and unbranded products which can be ordered any time, with free next-day delivery.
“As the fifth largest country in the world with rising digital adoption, we have an incredible opportunity to empower micro businesses through technology. Over 80% of our customers own and operate smartphones, yet their way of running business has not changed until now. By bringing them online, we can meaningfully improve their business and their lives, freeing up time to focus on the most important tasks, eventually enabling greater returns,” said Jawaid.
“When we invested in Bazaar in May, they set ambitious targets for 2020. They went on to crush those goals by 10x. Indus Valley Capital is thrilled to double down on Bazaar and strengthen our partnership to revolutionize the $150 billion retail industry in Pakistan,” said Indus Valley Capital managing partner Aatif Awan.
Moving forward, Bazaar’s focus will be on expanding its 300-strong team, with hires across technology, commercial and growth departments. There are also plans to strengthen its product and systems, with potential rollouts in inventory payments and sales management tools for its customers. Bazaar also intends to expand to 1-2 more cities beyond Karachi.