KARACHI: Ecommerce startup 24SEVEN has raised $6 million in a Pre-Series A round to grow its platform Apni Dukan, co-founder and CEO Jarrar Shah told Dawn in an interview on Friday.

Formerly known as 24seven.pk, the business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) startup digitises and rebrands mom-and-pop stores into 24SEVEN Apni Dukan resellers. It has so far on-boarded more than 2,500 resellers in five cities. It helps them source and store inventory through a digital supply chain system for onward sales to consumers.

“This is our first major round. We had a smaller one that raised $270,000 back in 2020,” said Mr Shah.

The Pre-Series A round was led by SOSV with participation from Betatron Venture Group, Newlin VC, Verity Capital, Argo’s Quest and many other family offices and angel investors. The company will use the new funding to increase its “product offerings and service offerings” for both Apni Dukan partners and the households that buy groceries from them. It also plans to use some of the funding to expand into “several other cities, including Karachi and Islamabad”.

Mr Shah refused to state the total value of the company that the new investors used for buying shares against their investments. Similarly, he didn’t state the company’s gross merchandise value (GMV) — a widely used ecommerce indicator that measures the value of products processed for sale by an app or website. Saying that the company is growing its GMV “very rapidly,” Mr Shah noted the month-on-month increase in the performance indicator has been more than 40 per cent for the last 12 months.

The company has the capacity to on-board 500 shops every month, although the actual average is roughly half of that. “It’s on purpose. We want to deepen our relationship with our existing partners (shop owners) first. We’ll increase the monthly average when we go into other cities,” he said.

Published in Dawn, July 2nd, 2022

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