Technology startups in Pakistan have pulled in quite a number of foreign investors within the country in the last couple of years. Last year, an e-commerce platform, Airlift had secured $85 million in the largest Series B funding in Pakistan. While the overall startups attracted $350 million in funding last year.
With the advent of the pandemic the startup landscape, of the country entirely changed direction, giving rise to a good number of consumer-focused or B2B startups. Among such startups, is Bazaar, an online marketplace that connects retailers directly with wholesalers and manufacturers.
Bazaar is essentially a B2B e-commerce marketplace that has impressively tapped the digital potential of the country’s retail sector. The company offers procurement solutions to small and medium-size retailers. According to details shared by the startup, it has already penetrated into 21 cities, with plans of expanding further.
According to Badar Khushnood, Chairman Pakistan Software houses Association for IT: “Startups like Bazaar Technologies will eventually benefit fintech as they will get data of small and medium-size stores.”
Background of Founders
Saad Jangda: Co-founder
After moving to back to Pakistan, Saad had two beliefs that drove his vision: Firstly, he wanted to work on something incredible for his hometown of Karachi as well as for the Pakistani market. Secondly, he saw heaps of economic opportunity down the line in the booming startup ecosystem. With co-founder Hamza Jawaid, Saad set out to start Bazaar Technologies, an e-commerce B2B venture that supported offline grocery retailers.
It was this vision, that led to Bazaar closing Pakistan’s largest pre-seed round to date, despite having just arrived at the scene.
Hamza Jawaid – Co-founder
Hamza is a London School of Economics graduate. He completed his BSc in 2015 and started his professional career as a Business Analyst at Mckinsey & Company.
He worked with the company till 2020, his last position being Manager – New Ventures. Later in 2020, he joined his soon to be Co-Founder Saad and the two together launched Bazaar.
What’s the value proposition of Bazaar?
Founded back in June 2020 with the aim of catering to small and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan to procure inventory, manage their bookkeeping and access financial services to simplify and help them grow.
Bazaar was launched by Saad Jangda, formerly a product manager for ride-hailing and food delivery company Careem and Hamza Jawaid, who was a management consultant at McKinsey & Company in Dubai.
The startup targets over 5 million small and medium-sized retailers operating across the country and plans to expand its network to cover over 100 urban and rural centres. It plans to build the largest network that could move any category of goods from point A to B wherever and whenever required.
It’s a mobile-only B2B e-commerce marketplace that enables retailers in Karachi and Lahore to procure inventory for their stores.
What is Bazaar?
Bazaar is a Karachi-based business-to-business (B2B) e-commerce platform that was launched to empower small and medium-sized retailers who strengthen the backbone of Pakistan’s retail economy.
Bazaar’s mobile platform gives these small business owners access to a large variety of goods including multiple local and international brands as well as unbranded products, which can be ordered at any day of the week with free next day delivery to storefronts, all on a single platform.
Earlier, the startup had also launched a digital ledger app, called Easy Khata to help retailers all over Pakistan manage their bookkeeping and faster collection. According to an official statement, both the apps have served over 750,000 merchants to date.
Easy Khata has garnered over 2.4 million registered businesses across 500 cities in Pakistan.
Funds Raised by Bazaar
Series A Funding – $30 Million
In August 2021, the startup had raised $30 million in Series A financing. The round was co-led by Silicon Valley-based Defy Partner and Singapore-based Wavemaker Partners.
Other investors who took part in the round include:
- US-based Acrew Capital
- Japan’s Saison Capital
- UAE’s Zayn Capital
- B&Y Venture Partners
- Induc Valley Capital
Series B Funding – $70 Million
The fintech startup raised $70 million in its Series B funding round in March, which was one of the largest in the country. The latest round was led by San Francisco-based investment firm, Dragoneer Investment Group, and New York-based Tiger Global.
Other investors, which played an active role in the latest round, include Indus Valley Capital, Defy Partners, Acrew Capital, Wavemaker Partners, B&Y Venture Partners, and Zayn Capital.
The recent round brings the startup’s all-time funding to above $100 million. In a recent interview, one of the founders, Hamza Jawaid said the fundraising sends a huge message, “It proves that you can build large and scalable businesses in Pakistan, and that should be an inspiration to other founders and entrepreneurs”.
Having secured Series B funding, Bazaar now plans to expand into more cities across Pakistan, broaden its product stack and scale its financial services offerings.
The startup is seeking to establish an “operating system for traditional retail” in the country’s $170 billion commercial space, where five million small, medium-sized, and large businesses already operate across various segments.
The Pakistani startup has also been testing its lending offering, a buy now pay later service for its retailers, in a private beta version. In an official statement, Bazaar shared that the early results have been phenomenal, explaining that the wallet share of the retailers who have used the service has doubled and the repayment rates are close to 100 percent.
The startup plans to deploy the fresh capital to expand to more cities across Pakistan and launch new marketplace categories. It is also working to scale its lending offerings and explore new product lines.