Pakistani startup Bazaar raises $30m in Series A financing

By Staff Reporter | The Dawn Aug 25, 2021

Bazaar, a year-old B2B marketplace from Pakistan, has raised $30 million in Series A financing co-led by Silicon Valley-based Defy Partner and Singapore-based Wavemaker Partners.

According to a press statement, the round takes Bazaar’s total funding to $38m, “making it one of the best funded startups in the country”.

Other investors who took part in the round included US-based Acrew Capital, Japan’s Saison Capital, UAE’s Zayn Capital and B&Y Venture Partners and a Silicon Valley-based growth fund.

Bazaar was founded in June 2020 with the aim of catering small and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan to procure inventory, manage their bookkeeping and access financial services to simplify and help them grow.

The startup 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.

“Through its multi-product offerings, Bazaar is bringing a range of products and services, such as commerce, accounting, payments, lending, invoicing and inventory management as part of one digital stack for small merchants,” a press release issued by the company stated.

“Bazaar’s early results and growth have been phenomenal, making it a market leader in the retail space in a short span of time.”

The startup says its B2B ecommerce marketplace is now live in Karachi and Lahore, while its digital ledger product Easy Khata is live across the country, with the company claiming to have already "served over 750,000 merchants since launch.”

Bazaar’s mission is to build an operating system for traditional retail in Pakistan. Through its B2B ecommerce platform and digital ledger product Easy Khata, Bazaar aims to help the 5 million small and medium-sized enterprises.

“We’ve been investing in FMCG B2B marketplaces across the region since 2017. We’re excited to support Bazaar as they solidify their market leadership and digitise Pakistan’s retail ecosystem,” said Paul Santos, managing partner at Wavemaker Partners.

The startup says it was tapping into "the $170 billion fragmented retail industry that was predominantly offline".

“This segment also lacks access to formal financial services, in a country that has the third-largest unbanked population in the world. At the same time, the country is undergoing a massive shift with its exponentially growing digital penetration due to cheap smartphones and mobile broadband availability,” it added.

Having secured Series A funding, Bazaar says it now plans to expand into more cities across Pakistan, broaden its product stack and scale its financial services offerings.

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