LAHORE: Airlift, a Lahore-based online shopping delivery service, has raised $85 million in Series B financing, the largest single private funding round in Pakistan’s history.
The financing is about twice the size of the largest private company IPO in the country’s history and the highest in the MENA (Middle East & North Africa) region.
Airlift Technologies Co-founder and CEO Usman Gul said the financing will add five per cent to the country’s foreign direct investment (FDI) for the fiscal year 2022. Series B financing is the second round of funding for a company that has met certain milestones and is past the initial startup stage.
The financing is co-led by Josh Buckley of Buckley Ventures and Harry Stebbings of 20VC. Major participants include Y Combinator ex-president Sam Altman, Biz Stone (co-founder at Twitter/Medium), Jeffrey Katzenberg (ex-CEO Disney), Taavet Hinrikus (Founder/CEO at TransferWise), and Seve Pagliuca (Co-Chairman Bain Capital).
“A year ago, Airlift halted operations on the transit service and diversified into last-mile grocery delivery. Today, our team closed $85m in Series B financing to scale our delivery platform across continents. With this financing, we as Pakistanis must return to where we started from fighting against the odds and staying true to our core values of hustle, teamwork, resourcefulness, and bias to action. If this is the journey of a thousand miles, we have taken only the first step,” Mr Gul said.
Published in Dawn, August 19th, 2021