- Startup provides warehousing and distribution solutions, will use funds to further fuel product development and talent acquisition
Pakistan’s startups continued their fund-raising frenzy as Oware, a B2B warehousing and distribution solutions company, announced that it has raised $3.3 million in pre-seed funding on Thursday.
The round was backed by Silicon Valley investors including Flexport Fund and Ratio Ventures, along with global investors including Seedstars International Ventures, Osiris Group, Swiss Founders Fund, Reflect Ventures, +92 Ventures, Walled City Co, and other strategic angel investors.
Co-founded in June 2021 by Maersk and Careem alumni Raza Kazmi and Adil Nisar, respectively, Oware offers companies a flexible warehousing and intelligent distribution platform, ensuring flexible response to demand fluctuations and faster and more affordable delivery of goods.
The company is looking to utilise the latest funds to further fuel product development and talent acquisition to innovate and simplify supply chains across Pakistan and internationally.
"There is a huge opportunity in the B2B movement of goods across the region, but it remains immensely underserved," said Raza Kazmi, co-founder at Oware.
"Local businesses remain trapped in an archaic and opaque environment dealing with antiquated supply chain systems that are no longer fit for purpose and remain slow, limited, and capital intensive. The time to set up operations is too long, there is limited visibility or tracking of orders and the execution of processes is inefficient in terms of speed and cost, which we are on a mission to solve".
Oware says Pakistan’s logistics industry represents an over $35-billion market opportunity and provides approximately 6% of total employment.
However, a lack of warehouse flexibility and insights has led to overspending on warehousing and inventory, which results in expensive and late deliveries with poor visibility into operations.
Co-founder Adil Nisar said the long-term aim is to build a large-scale connected world of distribution that enables a faster route to market for our customers.
The startup says it has expanded its network to five cities, providing distribution to 75% of Pakistan’s population with same-day delivery and 85% of the population with next-day delivery. Oware is also looking to open additional fulfillment centers to meet demand and increase coverage.
Pakistan has been gripped with fundraising frenzy since last year when it attracted a record amount of nearly $350 million across 81 deals.
It seems to have carried on with its momentum, as startups announced raising another $163 million during the first quarter of 2022, an amount little under half of the entire sum raised in 2021, according to a Deal Flow Tracker by Invest2Innovate (i2i).
Last week, medIQ, founded by Dr Saira Siddique in July 2020, announced that it has raised $1.8 million in early-stage funding.