Image Source: Menabytes
A year-old company in Pakistan that is developing a business-to-business marketplace for merchants while simultaneously assisting them in digitizing their bookkeeping is the latest to raise a large round in the region. Bazaar announced a $30 million Series A financing on Tuesday, August 24, 2021. Silicon Valley-based early stage VC (venture Capital) Defy Partners and Singapore-based Wavemaker Partners spearheaded the latest fundraising transaction, which is Pakistan’s largest Series A round.
Other investors included current and former executives from Antler, Careem, Endeavor, Gumroad, LinkedIn, and Notion, as well as new investors Acrew Capital, Japan’s Saison Capital, UAE’s Zayn Capital, and B&Y Venture Partners, as well as existing investors Indus Valley Capital, Global Founders Capital, Next Billion Ventures, and Alter Global.
Bazaar may be thought of as a cross between Udaan and KhataBook, which makes sense if you’ve been following the Indian startup environment. Bazaar co-founder Hamza Jawaid stated in an interview, that’s an excellent way to characterize us. He explained, we had the advantage of hindsight to look at not only India but other rising countries. These two have a lot of synergies, when it comes to commerce, each merchant in each area must be acquired in a unique way. Khata, on the other hand, is available for download by retailers from any city or category. On a WhatsApp conversation, he remarked, It’s a wonderful client acquisition tool for you. He said that it also gives him more insight into firms.
Bazaar’s B2B marketplace, which allows businesses to buy inventory at a fixed price and from a considerably bigger catalog, is presently accessible in Karachi and Lahore, the country’s two major cities, whereas Easy Khata is available nationwide.
According to Saad Jangda, Bazaar’s other co-founder, at stake is a growing industry that has yet to see any technological implementation. Pakistan has around 5 million micros, small, and medium-sized companies. Even though a large percentage of the population in India has gone online, most retailers are still offline.
Image Source: Techcrunch
Since 2017, we’ve been investing in FMCG B2B marketplaces around the area. We’ve been pleased by Hamza and Saad’s customer-centric approach to product development, as well as the speed with which they learn and execute, said Paul Santos, Managing Partner at Wavemaker Partners, in a statement. Since its inception last year, the business claims to have gathered over 750,000 retailers. It also looks to have overcome a retention issue that many of its South Asian counterparts are still dealing with. Bazaar claims to have a 90% retention rate.
Jangda was questioned if he had any intentions to expand into the ‘dukaan’ category. Several Asian businesses are actively developing solutions to assist retailers in establishing an online presence and accepting digital orders. He claims that the market is not yet ready for a dukaan product. Because the B2C industry is still emerging, there isn’t a lot of demand from consumers, he continued.
Instead, the new focus is now on financial services. The firm claimed it had been testing a purchase now, pay later offering in recent months, with early findings showing a 100 percent payback rate. The business aspires to be a super app or a larger operating system for retail in Pakistan in the future. It intends to use the additional capital to expand its services to more cities across Pakistan, as well as to develop and grow new products. The news comes a week after Airlift, another Pakistani company, disclosed a large amount of funding.