Pakistan’s B2B marketplace Bazaar raises $6.5m in seed funding

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.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.