Karachi – Sarmayacar, Pakistan’s largest VC fund in partnership with Middle Eastern and Asian Investors put faith in
Bykea, an on-demand ride-hailing and parcel delivery logistics startup, signed $5.7 Million in Series A I nvestment. Until today, it is one of the biggest closure of Series A by a startup in Pakistan.
What is Bykea?
Founded by a serial entrepreneur, Muneeb Maayr in 2017, co-owned by Abdul Mannan (formerly Rocket Internet), Ishaq Kothawal (Head Actuary at Pak-Qatar) and Rafiq Mali (former COO at TNT Logistics Pakistan),
With 2 million downloads, 200,000 ride-hailing and delivery partners and over 1 million bookings a month, it is operational in four major cities and is looking forward to spread footprints across Pakistan. It is similar to what most of the logistics and ride-hailing companies do, but
Uber and Careem feature bike options too, then what’s so smart about Bykea? It has focused on maintaining a localized approach by providing the app in languages – Urdu and English both. One can navigate in any of the languages and can use built in text messaging and voice notes features, making it easier for riders and users to communicate for details. If in any case, app fails to work, one can easily book a ride or delivery services by dialing in the number which is evidently not possible in Careem and Uber.
This is not the first time Byke has raised fund, it was initially funded by a group of angel investors in a round that was led by Pakistan-based Ithaca Capital.
The startup now plans to use this investment to further expand into ride-sharing, express delivery and conversion of cash for digital use, for both consumers and businesses across Pakistan.
The disclosure event took place at a local incubation centre in Karachi – National Incubation Center, where an open discussion took place with open questions from the audience. To which, some of the responses were;
“We’re aiming to solve technology adoption and economic activity for the 200 million people in Pakistan by allowing users to connect with one another via simple steps in Urdu or voice chat. We are also working with leading telecommunication providers to enable feature phones, or not-so-smart phones, to connect to our driver partner network of part-timers.”– says, Muneeb Maayr, the founder and CEO of Bykea, commenting on the occasion.
He further added, “The additional investment will pave the way for deeper penetration into the masses enabling Pakistanis at large to use technology to better facilitate personal and business activity in the cities.”
In a broader perspective, we’re looking forward to
Rabeel Warraich, Managing Partner at Sarmayacar who are making their first investment after raising $30 million for their debut fund, said, “We are pleased to join Bykea on its journey of building affordable technology solutions that will create income-generating opportunities for tens of thousands in Pakistan, while addressing rampant challenges in the transportation, logistics and payments sectors of the country. This transaction also ushers a new era of venture capital investment into Pakistan by bringing together varied and complementary value propositions of institutional VCs from different parts of the world to back one of Pakistan’s most promising startups.”
Singapore-based Jonas Eichhorst, one of the Series A investors, who is also joining company’s board, said, “After regularly visiting Pakistan over the past 3 years, the tremendous potential of the country is obvious to me. Bykea and its team are in a great position to play a leading role not only in advancing the nascent startup sector but can also become a local champion within the overall economy, similar to GoJek’s tremendous success in Indonesia.”
This deal brings a growth sign and comes as a good news for both consumers and the startup ecosystem in Pakistan. Even though the company is not a direct competitor of Uber and Careem but will continue to carve deeper identity in the motorbike based ride-hailing services in Pakistan and may disrupt the monopoly enjoyed by the giants in Pakistan.
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