Tazah, a B2B agriculture marketplace in Pakistan, announced on Wednesday that it has raised another $4.5 million in a pre-seed round after last raising $2m in October.
A statement issued by the startup said it was "Pakistan’s largest pre-seed round extension" and brought the total amount raised to $6.5m.
It added that the extension was co-led by Fatima Gobi Ventures (FGV) and Vibe Capital, with participation from Shorooq Partners, Nuwa Capital, Ru-net, Alter Global, Julian.Capital, Venture for Pakistan, Early Grey Capital and K3 Fund. The round also had participation from prolific Silicon Valley-based angel investors including Sahil Bloom, Siqi Chen, Matt Brezina, among others.
Existing investors including Global Founders Capital, Zayn Capital, i2i Ventures and notable angels also followed on in the round, the statement said.
Co-founder Abrar Bajwa told Dawn.com that with the new proceeds, the startup was aiming to offer working capital financing to fresh produce sellers and streamline the fresh produce supply by reducing the time between harvest and sale.
"We are excited to have the confidence of some of the most active investors in Pakistan. We are also grateful for all the value added by our existing investors and their continuous backing of Tazah.
"The new investments will help us accelerate our market dominance and execute some exciting projects that will help us improve our margins as we scale," the statement quoted him as saying.
Co-founder Mohsin Zaka said that the duo's experience leading large national teams and growing complex marketplaces helped them in rapidly scaling the business and build the capability to manage multi-city operations.
"We have also built a very strong founding team by acquiring the best talent from different industries," he said.
The two co-founders have previously held leadership positions at ride-hailing giants such as Careem and Swvl. They founded Tazah in August, basing its headquarters in Lahore and have already expanded operations into Karachi with another city launch on the agenda.
"Tazah has scaled operations to an annualised gross merchandise value of $7m in a little more than four months of operations," the statement said.
Ali Mukhtar, a general partner for FGV, said: "At FGV, we constantly envision Pakistan’s tomorrow, today — and that is the essence of Tazah, which is revolutionising Pakistan’s massive yet incredibly complex agricultural sector to solve inefficiencies in food and agri supply chains."
He added that what Tazah set out to achieve was "incredibly ambitious" but FGV couldn't wait to see what the startup did next.
Ankur Nagpal, founder of Vibe Capital, said they were most excited about the ability to build additional products — particularly financial products — for this market.
"Tazah is in a great position to start extending lines of credit to their business buyers that they pay off after reselling the inventory," he was quoted by the statement as saying.