KARACHI: Logistics start-up Rider, which aims to create an Amazon-like next-day delivery service for e-commerce businesses, has raised $3.1 million in a seed round, a press statement said on Monday.

It announced the funding from American technology startup accelerator Y Combinator and new investors, including i2i Ventures, Flexport, Soma Capital and Rebel Fund. The round also included existing investors such as Global Founders Capital, Fatima Gobi Ventures and TPL E-Ventures along with the notable angel investor Arash Ferdowsi, co-founder of Dropbox.

With this seed round, Rider has now raised a total of $5.4m since September 2021.

Founded in 2019, Rider has been building a network of sorting hubs, urban delivery centres and a digitised fleet, offering online sellers in Pakistan a next-day delivery service. The platform offers route optimisation for delivery agents, live tracking and scheduling for buyers, and a digitised warehousing function for sellers.

The company is led by Salman Allana, a former UPS Pakistan executive and son of Habib Bank Ltd chairman Sultan Ali Allana.

Since their pre-seed investment round in September 2021, Rider’s monthly revenues have grown 110pc and their customer base has doubled to 650 online sellers. Rider has now completed the delivery of over 3m parcels across 60 cities in Pakistan.

“We launched Rider because we knew the traditional courier companies in Pakistan were not set up to serve the e-commerce market and were failing to capture the online buying trend. The problem is huge, circa $1 billion GMV [gross merchandise value] is lost annually due to failed and slow deliveries,” said Mr Allana, the company’s founder and CEO.

He said the retail industry is worth north of $150bn industry, although it’s still stuck in bricks and mortar. “We are fully behind the mission to enable more than 1m, primarily female-owned Instagram/Facebook sellers to trade.”

Published in Dawn,June 21st, 2022

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