B2B eCommerce startup Dastgyr Technologies has set a Series A fundraising record for its home country, Pakistan, with $37 million, Bloomberg reported Monday (June 13).
Dastgyr, which means “helper,” wants to create an eCommerce platform similar to Alibaba for emerging markets. It serves more than 217 million customers in nine countries and is the largest mobile phone service provider in Pakistan, according to the report.
The venture arm of telecommunications operator Veon led Dastgyr’s funding effort with about 40% of the total investment, the report stated. Zinal Growth Fund, DEG, Khwarizmi Ventures, Oman Technology Fund, Cedar Mundi Ventures, Reflect Ventures, Century Oak Capital, Haitou Global, GoingVC, Astir Ventures, K3 Ventures and Chandaria Capital also participated in the funding round, which included existing investors SOSV, Edgebrook Partners and EquiTie.
“Pakistan’s startup ecosystem is at a critical juncture, and only startups focused on addressing key challenges and adopting local solutions will survive and thrive,” said Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz, Veon’s local unit, in the report.
Dastgyr is a one-stop platform that connects grocery stores and retailers with multiple suppliers. Most traditional stores meet 100 suppliers a week or browse different markets to stock their shelves, according to the report.
Dastgyr has been used by about 100,000 retailers in the five cities where it operates. It seeks to keep costs low by connecting buyers and sellers over a digital platform, rather than buying and storing supplies in physical warehouses, the report stated.
The startup plans to expand into 15 new markets in Pakistan and into a new country by the end of this year.
Dastgyr also started a buy now, pay later (BNPL) offering and plans to introduce lending products for its sellers, said Co-Founder Muhammad Owais in the report. He also noted the startup aims to become a unicorn — a private company worth at least $1 billion — in the next few years.
In March, B2B eCommerce platform Sary bought a stake in Saudi Arabia-based Jugnu, leading its $22.5 million Series A round, marking Sary’s expansion into Pakistan.