Tazah, a B2B agriculture marketplace in Pakistan, has raised $2 million in a pre-seed round led by Global Founders Capital and co-led by Zayn Capital.
Other investors included Ratio Ventures, Walled City Co, i2i Ventures, Suya Ventures, Globivest, Afropreneur Syndicate, +92 Ventures, Sunu Capital and Musha Investments.
The round also witnessed participation from local business groups, including Mezan Foods and notable angels including senior executives in Careem and Swvl among others.
The startup is co-founded by Abrar Bajwa and Mohsin Zaka who have previously held leadership positions at ride-hailing giants such as Careem and Swvl.
The firm's mission is to transform the agriculture space in Pakistan and improve the lives of producers, businesses and consumers via a tech-enabled operating system for the agriculture and food value chain by adding financing solutions in the near future.
After commencing operations in Lahore just two months ago, Tazah says it is already serving 300 small and medium fruit and vegetable sellers operating truckloads daily.
With the pre-seed funding, the startup aims to expand to other cities in Pakistan, enhance its product portfolio and build the foundation to improve the access to capital for farmers.
"Tazah aims to be at the centre of farmers and businesses’ lives where they perform most of their financial transactions on the Tazah platform. At scale, Tazah’s B2B marketplace will reduce food prices and wastage, improve access to fresh products for everyone and lead to the social uplift of farmers," the firm said in a statement.
“With exposure to agriculture through their families, Abrar and Mohsin have seen first-hand the need and opportunity to disrupt the agriculture supply chain by bringing in a fresh perspective,” according to the statement.
It said the agriculture and food supply chain in Pakistan represented a $60 billion opportunity but it was extremely inefficient and unrewarding for its key stakeholders — farmers and businesses that sell and consume fresh produce.
"The extreme fragmentation of both supply and demand, geographical dispersion and perishability of the product creates information and power asymmetries leading to poor outcomes for producers, businesses and consumers," the statement added.
"At a macro level these inefficiencies result in significant food wastages, food price inflation and therefore consumers spend almost 33 per cent of their income on food.”
Bajwa said, “We are driven by the complexity and the sheer impact of the problem we are trying to solve. With the current ecosystem tailwinds and the team we are building, there is no doubt in our minds that we will be creating waves in the space very soon leading to lasting dividends for producers, businesses and consumers.”
“Technology deployed correctly can solve problems that have existed for decades," said Zaka. "We have seen that first hand with Careem and the urban mobility problem. The technology that we are building at Tazah will have a much larger impact for a sector in Pakistan that desperately needs digitisation and modernisation.”
“We are excited to partner with the Tazah team in their mission to transform the Pakistani agricultural supply chain,” said Tito Costa, partner at Global Founders Capital.
“Tazah’s platform will unlock savings and create opportunities for both farmers and small businesses by cutting out current inefficiencies and waste,” Costa added.