(Bloomberg) -- A funding frenzy in Pakistan’s startup scene this year has seen investments cross $300 million after two e-commerce companies raised fresh funds.
Bookme, the largest online travel and ticketing platform in the country, raised $7.5 million in its Series A round, according to its founder Faizan Aslam. Bagallery, a beauty and fashion startup, separately raised $4.5 million in a similar round, co-founder Salman Sattar said. Both rounds were co-led by Zayn Capital, Lakson Venture Capital and Hayaat Global.
The South Asian nation has seen more money flow into its nascent technology sector during 2021 than in the previous six years combined. Many global venture capital firms have invested in Pakistan for the first time in the current wave including Kleiner Perkins, an early investor in Google and Amazon.com Inc.
Pakistan’s e-commerce industry is just picking up with online retail accounting for about 2% of gross domestic product, compared with 20% in Indonesia. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Daraz Group, the largest e-commerce company in Pakistan, expects to double its retail volume every year over the next five years, sustaining the pace of the past four years.
Startup Fever Grips Pakistan, World’s Last Big Untapped Nation
Fashion is the largest segment within e-commerce and Bagallery founders believe there will be as many as four unicorns in Pakistan in the next seven years. The country has none so far.
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