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The funding will enable Bykea to strengthen its platform strategy and launch in smaller cities in Pakistan
Pakistan on-demand transport, logistics and payments platform Bykea has raised US$13 million in a Series B round of financing, according to an announcement by the company yesterday.
The round was led by Prosus Ventures, the venture arm of global internet group Prosus, and saw participation from Dubai-based venture firm Middle East Venture Partners and Pakistan-based venture firm Sarmayacar as well, the company noted in the announcement.
Both Middle East Venture Partners and Sarmayacar are returning investors in the company, having invested in its $5.7 million Series A round in 2019. The round was led by Sarmayacar.
With the financing, Bykea’s total funding quantum till date now reaches $22 million, the company also said.
The funding will be utilized towards making extensive investments in Bykea’s platform strategy, aimed at deploying its active fleet of 30,000 drivers across e-commerce logistics, food and payment services, it continued.
Further, the fresh capital will also enable the company to launch in smaller cities within Pakistan, the company added.
“Bykea has evolved to become a verb for bike taxi and 30 minute deliveries, and the fresh capital allows us to expand our network and solidify our leading position,” Founder of Bykea Muneeb Maayr said in the announcement.
“Bykea is driving its competitive advantage from being hyper localized; it is one of the few internet businesses offering an Urdu interface. This has helped us become the preferred partner for part-time motorbike gig economy workers,” he also said.
Bykea aims to become Pakistan’s superapp
Founded in 2016, Bykea is an on-demand motorbike service that offers mobility, logistics and cash-on-delivery payments services.
The company noted in the announcement that it currently services 30 million users in Pakistan. Its customers are spread across Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, cities that are economic powerhouses but have an under-developed public transportation system, Bykea noted in the statement.
The company aims to become Pakistan’s superapp, Chief Investment Officer at Prosus Ventures Fahd Beg said in the announcement.
“Pakistan is primed to experience extremely strong growth in internet services over the next decade, with a rapidly increasing middle class. This growth provides immense opportunity for companies like Bykea that are transforming big societal needs like transportation, logistics and payments through a technology-enabled platform,” Beg said.
“Bykea has already seen impressive traction in the country and with our investment will be able to execute further on their vision to become Pakistan’s ‘SuperApp’,” he added.
Superapps in the Asia Pacific, while still a handful in number, are rising in popularity with the growth of companies such as Grab, GO-JEK, WeChat and Alipay.
These apps are able to provide a suite of services, such as food delivery, transportation, social media, payments and even event bookings, within a single app.
Superapps bring several functionalities under the umbrella of a single mobile app thereby retaining the customer journey within the app itself.
Moreover, as a digital means, it also opens up varied modes of payments to users apart from the traditional debit and credit cards, or cash on delivery. The trend of superapps, therefore, can vastly disrupt buying behaviors and payments technology, as they facilitate a shift to a consolidated mobile-first experience.
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