Technology

Voyage Freight raises $1mn in pre-seed funding

Voyage Freight, which says its Pakistan’s first digital freight forwarder, has secured over $1 million in pre-seed...
Published November 13, 2023

Voyage Freight, which says it is Pakistan’s first digital freight forwarder, has secured over $1 million in pre-seed funding, as the startup eyes going global and revolutionising the international shipping sector in Pakistan.

The funding round was led by Indus Valley Capital, said the startup in a statement on Monday.

The company believes that Pakistan, with its strategic geographical position, and burgeoning manufacturing sectors, presents a vast potential for growth in exports.

“However, the traditional freight forwarding processes are full of challenges such as lack of transparency, visibility and complex customs procedures, all of which contribute to inefficiencies and increased costs,” read the statement.

Voyage Freight says it addresses these issues through its user-friendly digital platform, which gives exporters a one-stop-shop for their logistics needs. By consolidating all shipping operations onto a single dashboard, the platform grants clients real-time visibility and control over their cargo, providing a transparent, efficient, and cost-effective shipping experience.

The startup believes its services will result in a drastic reduction in time, cost, and the traditional hurdles faced by exporters, enhancing the competitive edge of Pakistani goods on the world stage.

“By streamlining logistics, Voyage aims to help exporters expand their reach and increase trade volumes, bringing vital energy to the economy,” read the statement.

Aatif Awan, founder of Indus Valley Capital, commented: “Increasing exports is a burning problem for Pakistan and an outdated, opaque global shipping experience remains a key impediment. Voyage’s vision of simplifying global freight for anyone in Pakistan, especially new and smaller exporters, really resonated with us.”

Co-founded by Omar Mukhtar, an alumnus of University College London and the London School of Economics, and Bilal Latif, who has experience in logistics and operations within Pakistan’s industrial sectors, the startup aims to achieve new heights in the digital freight forwarding domain.

“We are thrilled to have the support of our investors who share our vision of digitizing and simplifying the export shipping process,” said Omar Mukhtar, CEO and CoFounder of Voyage Freight.

“This funding enables us to accelerate our mission of providing Pakistani exporters with a one-stop digital platform that manages their logistics needs from origin to destination, with complete transparency, visibility and control.”

“In the current global economy, the ability to export efficiently is crucial for the growth and competitiveness of Industry,” added Omar Mukhtar. “Our aim is to democratize access to global markets for exporters, ensuring they have the tools to succeed and compete at an international level.”

Startup with a global ambition

Voyage Freight aims to utilize the funding to expand its operations in various regions.

“We are the first digital freight forwarder in the MENAP region,” Muhammad Waleed Sadiq, Head of Marketing & Business Development at Voyage Freight Technologies, told Business Recorder.

“We are eyeing to expand our business into MENAP region, no company is providing these services in the region thus there is a huge gap, which needs to be addressed,” he said.

Sadiq shared that his company is currently working with large exporters and importers in Pakistan, especially in the agricultural sector.

“We have achieved positive unit economics, and hope to turn cashflow positive within the next 12 months,” he said.

Sadiq’s comments comes at a time when the progress of Pakistan’s startup landscape, which rejoiced at a record-breaking 2021, has slowly been pushed away from headlines as fundraising dropped and replaced with news of shutdowns and cut-back in operations.

“In Pakistan startups are struggling, especially B2B and B2C, owing to reduction in purchasing power of customers owing to global inflationary pressures,” admitted Sadiq.

However, Voyage Freight eyes to mitigate this risk by pursuing a global approach.

“We are operating in Singapore, and has have established an office in Dubai,” Sadiq shared.

“We are expecting to begin our operations in Dubai, which is a hub of global trade, from December, this year. Next, we would move to Saudi Arabia and Africa,” he said, adding that businesses in UAE are eager to partner with the startup.

He said that apart from sea freight services, his company is also providing land freight services and aims to launch air freight. “Our land freight operations are particularly profitable,” shared Sadiq.

Comments

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Parvez Nov 13, 2023 01:13pm
Adding the word ' Digital ' to Freight Forwarder looks more like a marketing ploy to introduce another Freight Forwarder in a small market already full of F / Forwards.....but good luck to them.
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Az_Iz Nov 13, 2023 05:48pm
Success in new business is often elusive. But you don't succeed by not starting. Good luck.
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