Investments in Pakistani ecommerce platforms spiked in 2021, experiencing a 419% YoY growth to reach just under $100 million.
In the wake of Bazaar’s $70 million Series B raises this month, another Pakistani ecommerce player has raised its own investment. Granted, Jugnu’s Series A accounts for just over one third of Bazaar’s investment at $22.5 million, but the raise speaks of a Pakistani ecommerce sector that is valued at a whopping $100 billion and brings Jugnu’s total funding to date to $112 million.
Interestingly, the round was led by another B2B marketplace: the KSA-headquartered, MENAP-serving Sary, as part of the company’s efforts to extend its regional reach. The deal marks Sary’s second of the year, after its expansion efforts saw it acquire Egyptian B2B food and grocery marketplace, Mowarrid.
Jugnu’s round also saw participation from Pakistani digital tech company, Systems Ltd, and Lahore-based VC, Sarmayacar, the latter of which were part of a December, 2021 seed round worth $2.5 million in Jiye Technologies - another Pakistani B2B marketplace in an increasingly competitive space, one which focuses on the agricultural supply chain.
Founded in 2019 by Sharoon Saleem, Yasir Memon, Syed Khurram Haider and Ahsan Muhammad Khan, Jungu is a B2B digital marketplace that, also aims to socially and economically empower small business across Pakistan by providing a platform to connect said business to large suppliers and manufacturers in the FMCG sector.
The startup claims to serve over 30,000 small businesses across key Pakistani cities including Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, as it looks to defragment and streamline the B2B supply chain, a perennial issue in Pakistan - but one that has been the route of an incredible spike in funding in the the country’s ecommerce sector, hitting 419% YoY growth.
Reaching just under the $100 million mark in 2021, the increase has come as part of a 355% YoY increase across all industries. Remarkably, the raises by Bazaar and Dastgyr, as well as Tazah and Tajir Pakistan. Accounted for 70% of all investments in the B2B marketplace space.
Beyond the new capital, the investment will set in motion a mutually beneficial partnership between Jugnu and Sary allowing for consolidation of the B2B ecommerce supply chains across the MENAP region, with both set to leverage digital experience and talent transfers. On the part of Sary, this will allow them to tap into Pakistan’s burgeoning market.
“Pakistan is a strategic market for us as we look to achieve our vision of being the leading B2B ecommerce platform in emerging markets,” said co-founder and CEO of Sary, Mohammed Al Dossary. “With its strong traction among customers, rapidly growing sales, and its team’s clear strategic vision, expertise and ambition, Jugnu is an ideal partner to realise Pakistan’s opportunity.”
Al Dossary isn’t the only one to see value in Pakistan, of course, a country of 220 million citizens, a market that is ripe for the venture capital that has been labelled by many as the world’s last untapped mega-market.
For Jugnu, the investment will be channelled into further expanding its 100-strong team, enhance its tech to add new platform offerings and, most significantly, expand its footprint across Pakistan to more key cities, as it looks to gain a bigger slice of an increasingly large pie.