Dastgyr, a Karachi-based B2B marketplace for small businesses (Kiryana stores), raised $37 million in Series A funding from VEON Ventures, Zinal Growth, DEG, Khwarizmi Ventures, OTF Jasoor Ventures, Cedar Mundi, Reflect Ventures, Century Oak Capital, Hi2 Global, GoingVC, Astir Ventures, K3 Diversity Ventures, Chandaria Capital, SOSV, Edgebrook Partners, and EquiTie.
It’s the largest Series A round raised by a Pakistani startup.
Elevator Pitch: Bringing retailers and sellers together to reduce supply chain chaos.
Make me care: Pakistan has approximately 5 million small and medium-sized businesses and a retail market worth $170 billion.
Over 1 million Kiryana stores are among the 5 million small and medium-sized businesses.
Store owners have minimal financial resources and have difficulty getting competitive market rates. They have to meet with 100+ suppliers weekly to stock their shelves.
Since supply chains are mostly inefficient, obtaining goods is also a problem.
Dastgyr solves these problems by being a unified platform connecting retailers with suppliers like Reckitt, Nestle, and Coca-Cola.
Tell me more: Dastgyr intends to build Alibaba for emerging markets that rely on mom-and-pop stores for everyday items such as food, groceries, etc.
Rather than buying and storing everything in physical warehouses, it connects buyers and sellers over a digital platform.
This allows it to keep its costs low and provide a quick turnaround to retailers.
BFD: VEON Ventures, the investment arm of telecommunications giant Veon Ltd., contributed $15 million, or 40% of the funding round.
Veon Ltd., based in The Netherlands, has more than 217 million customers in nine countries, including Pakistan, where it acquired 100% of Jazz Pakistan in 2020.
You should know: Dastgyr was founded in 2020 by Owais Qureshi and Zohaib Ali.
To date, it has raised $40.5 million in disclosed funding across three rounds.
It claims to have grown by 300% since its last funding round in 2021 and now has 70,000 retailers across five cities in Pakistan.
Zoom out: The new funds will be used by Dastgyr to improve its technology stack.
Moreover, it intends to enhance its seller app and provide sellers with access to external working capital through its new lending feature.
By the end of 2022, it intends to expand into 15 new Pakistani cities and launch in a new country.