Lahore-based startup Zarya — a business-to-business social commerce platform — has raised $1.7 million in pre-seed funding, the company announced on Monday.
The pre-seed round was led by Raed Ventures and participants included Fatima Gobi Ventures, US-based Class 5 Global, Global Founders Capital, and Egyptian social commerce startup Taager, it said in a press release.
According to the press release, Zarya aims to "eliminate the friction small-scale sellers face in sourcing products, arranging delivery and collecting payment". This would free up the sellers' time to focus on sales, it added.
Many of Zarya's customers are housewives looking to earn additional income, the company shared.
The app has over 3,000 items at the moment, of which a significant portion is women's and children's clothing, it said, adding that the platform was expanding to include new categories such as abayas, shoes, socks, home textiles and makeup.
The funds from Raed Ventures and others will enable Zarya to broaden its supply offering while maintaining reliability. "Being successful at scale will require robust supply chain and process automation to ensure the service is reliable and remains customer-centric," the press release further said.
Zarya was founded by brothers Faisal and Saad Zahid. Faisal is a former director of product management at Careem while Saad led operations for several businesses in Pakistan ranging from industrial-scale farms to steel manufacturing, according to the press release.
"Pakistan has over 100 million YouTube and 45m Facebook users. They are spending more than three hours per day on social media apps. If [they are] spending so much time online, it's quite natural to start buying and selling while on social media apps. We aim to give our sellers every opportunity to thrive in this environment," Faisal said, while commenting on the pre-seed funding.