Wavemaker co-leads $30m round for Pakistan’s B2B startup Bazaar

Source: Bazaar

Pakistan’s B2B marketplace Bazaar on Tuesday announced it has raised $30 million in a Series A round co-led by Singapore-based venture capital firm Wavemaker Partners and Silicon-Valley-based Defy Partners.

The round brings the total funding bagged by Bazaar to $38 million. Other investors that participated in the latest round include US-based Acrew Capital, Japan’s Saison Capital and Zayn Capital from the UAE. 

Founded in June 2020, Bazaar caters to small- and medium-sized enterprises in Pakistan, helping procure inventory through its B2B marketplace and manage their bookkeeping needs. It also seeks to offer a range of financial services and has piloted a buy now pay later offering.

Bazaar is now available in Karachi and Lahore, the two largest cities in Pakistan, and claims to have served over 750,000 merchants since its launch with a 90% customer retention rate. The country has around five million micro, small, and medium-sized businesses.

The startup plans to use the fresh funds to expand into more cities across Pakistan, broaden its product offerings, and scale its financial services portfolio. 

Bazaar was started by Saad Jangda and Hamza Jawaid, a former product manager at ride-hailing and food delivery company Careem and a former McKinsey management consultant, respectively. 

“We’ve been investing in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) B2B marketplaces across the region since 2017. After working with Hamza and Saad over the past year, we’ve been impressed by their customer-centric approach to product development and the speed of their learning and execution,” Paul Santos, a managing partner at Wavemaker Partners, said in a statement. 

Other startups in the South Asia region serving small businesses include Udaan and Khatabook, both from India. Udaan helps small retailers purchase inventory from suppliers and wholesalers, while Khatabook, which announced a $100 million funding round on Tuesday, helps merchants keep track of their finances and accept digital payments. 

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.