Middle East Venture Partners invests $2 Million in Bykea
Middle East Venture Partners (MEVP) announced today that they have invested $2 Million in Bykea, an on-demand transport, logistics and payments startup which recently secured $5.7 million in the largest Series A investment for a tech startup in Pakistan.
“We are excited to make our first investment in Pakistan through Bykea. We believe there is a strong opportunity to solve major infrastructure problems using technology developed by the Bykea team" said Riyad Abou Jaoudeh, Managing Director at Middle East Venture Partners.
With nearly 2 million App users, Bykea serves urban hyperlocal needs in a country of 200 Million people and differentiates itself from competitors by offering the interface in Urdu which is a language native to the country.
“The money will help Bykea in increasing its footprint across the Logistics and Digitizing of Cash Payments space within the country, a $35 billion market opportunity. With a registered pool of 200,000 Driver Partners, Bykea’s network has access to one of the largest fleets in the country, with potential to disrupt transport and payments in an unprecedented way using its on-demand technology solutions” said Muneeb Maayr, Founder at Bykea.
Managing the growing user base, the company needs a steady supply of drivers which is currently fulfilled through referrals, in-App registrations and a network of franchises in the city the company operates in. Bykea’s recent recruitment activities at roadside tea cafes have been viral in supply uptick.
With the capital, Bykea aims to partner with Pakistan’s leading banking and branchless banking providers to offer services that are in line with domestic usage due to convenience, safety and speed. It aims to connect existing networks in the financial services sector with on-demand technology to make cash-in to digital, quick and convenient in a country where 100 million people remain unbanked, constituting nearly half the world’s unbanked population.
Apart from an Android and iOS App, Bykea offers an IVR solution to enable anyone, even without a smartphone to book its services of transport, logistics and payments, a functionality that effectively increases the company’s reach to the 161 Million Cellular Subscribers in Pakistan.
Bykea was seed funded by a group of angel investors in a round led by Ithaca Capital who have made several pioneering venture capital investments in Pakistan. Singapore-based Tharros and Sarmayacar joined the company's recent Series A round. It was founded by veterans from eCommerce and logistics, (Muneeb Maayr, Co-Founder at Daraz.pk, now an Alibaba company and Director Operations for 7 years at SNL Pakistan, now S&P Global, one of the largest IT exporters from Pakistan), Abdul Mannan (formerly Rocket Internet), Ishaq Kothawala (former Head Actuary at Pak-Qatar, a leading insurance company) and Rafiq Malik (formerly COO at TNT Logistics Pakistan a subsidiary of one of the largest logistics networks in the world).