Pakistan-focused VC Sarmayacar said to invest in ride-hailing startup Bykea

Sarmayacar is a Pakistan-focused VC targeting seed and early-stage tech startups.

Pakistan-focused venture capital firm Sarmayacar is investing in local ride-hailing startup Bykea, according to three sources close to the development. The Series A fundraising is expected to be in the region of $5 million and will be a combined investment involving at least three investors.

Founded in 2017, Bykea is a Pakistani ride-hailing and parcel delivery service operating in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The company was previously funded by Ithaca Capital and JS Capital, two investment companies in Pakistan.

Similar to Indonesia’s Go-Jek, Bykea’s ride-hailing service is also based on motorbikes and aims to transform itself into a ‘hyperlocal marketplace’ where a variety of services from food to parcel deliveries may be requested through its platform. Bykea isn’t the only ride-hailing service in Pakistan though. The company is up against regional players such as Careem and Uber.

Bykea was founded by Muneeb Maayr, the founder of Daraz, a Rocket Internet-backed e-commerce site. In May, Daraz was sold to Chinese internet giant, Alibaba for an undisclosed amount, making it one of the earliest exits in Pakistan.

Sarmayacar launched its first $30-million fund target seed to early-stage Pakistani startups earlier this year. It is also the largest-Pakistan-focused fund in the country. According to Crunchbase, Sarmayacar has three investments – PublishEx, a carrier billing company; ProCheck, a patient engagement services provider; and Patari, an online music portal.

The fund is led by former investment bankers Rabeel Warraich and Bernhard Klemen. The two-man team boasts a combined wealth of experience from Morgan Stanley, GIC and JP Morgan, and aims to bring an institutional approach to investing in Pakistan.

Also read:

Pakistan-focused VC firm Sarmayacar secures first close of $30m early-stage fund

Pakistani startup accelerator invest2innovate to launch $15m fund

Gobi leads $1.5m Series A for Pakistan’s online travel agency Sastaticket

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.