- Seed round is largest for logistics startup in MENA, Pakistan
Karachi-based Truck It In has raised another $13 million in early-stage funding, the largest seed round for a logistics startup in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well as in Pakistan, announced the company in a statement on Friday.
The seed round was jointly led by venture capital firms Global Founders Capital and Fatima Gobi Ventures. The round also saw participation from Wamda, Picus Capital, Millville, Graph Ventures, Zayn Capital, i2i Ventures, ADB Ventures, Cianna Capital, Reflect Ventures, and K3 Ventures, added the statement.
Last year, Truck It In closed its pre-seed funding at $4.5 million, after the company raised $3 million in September and $1.5 million in April. The latest round takes total raised capital to $17.5 million.
The funds generated will be used to expand operations as it eyes to meet needs of the near $350-billion economy.
The Karachi-based startup, which hopes to make freight movement more efficient by connecting truckers and shippers through its online platform, was launched in August 2020 by Muhammad Sarmad Farooq, Raza Afzal, and Haider Navid. The three worked together at Dubai-based ride hailing company Careem Inc.
“Pakistan is one of the largest road freight markets in the region, representing a $25 billion annual opportunity,” stated the company. “Truck It In aims to be the nexus of road freight in the country by simplifying business for Pakistan’s 3 million SME businesses and SME truckers (80% of the supply market), who operate in an increasingly complex and deeply fragmented industry.”
Farooq, CEO of Truck It In, said the seed round comes at an opportune time. “The funds will be deployed to expand our business, driving hiring across all functions, focusing on engineers to help double down on product development and increase our digital penetration in the market.
"In the past year, our revenue has grown 37x, and we have expanded into 100+ trade lanes."
Pakistan’s startups witnessed a record-breaking 2021, as 81 deals attracted a mammoth $350 million, capping off a stellar year for the South Asian economy that faces issues of foreign-exchange inflow. The amount raised was more than 5x of that raised in 2020 i.e. $65 million.
According to a Deal Flow Tracker by Invest2Innovate (i2i), from 2015 to 2021, Pakistani startups raised $563.5 million, out of which 62% was raised last year alone, showing the extent of the shift in funding landscape.
Similar to other emerging markets, e-commerce, fintech and logistics attracted the most funding in 2021, revealed the data.