500 Durians joins Retailo’s US$2.3M pre-seed round to help grow its B2B marketplace biz in Pakistan
Retailo, an online B2B marketplace based out of Pakistan, has secured US$2.3 million in a pre-seed funding round led by Shorooq Partners, a seed-stage VC fund based in the Middle East.
500 Durians (the Southeast Asian unit of 500 Startups) and 92-Ventures also joined the round.
Founded by Talha Ansari, Mohammad Nowkhaiz and Wahaj Ahmed, Retailo provides a mobile app for retailers to buy items for their stores at wholesale prices from the comfort of their homes. The platform provides SMEs (including retailers) with a curated list of suppliers through which they can order a variety of products.
The company’s mission is to enable the 10 million SMEs concentrated in the MENAP region by empowering them with technology and real-time data to improve supply chains. This represents around US$500 billion of annual spending and thus a huge growth opportunity for Retailo.
“We strongly believe in creating impact in the lives of people by giving them opportunities to improve their earning potential. The MENAP region has a significant opportunity to increase its economic prosperity by unlocking the productivity delta that exists between the region and global benchmarks. MENAP is home to 700 million individuals and 10 million SMEs, and its unorganised retail sector presents the perfect opportunity to increase the efficiency of supply chain by utilising technology and real-time data,” the founders said in a joint statement.
B2B e-commerce is a proven and exciting thesis with several successful unicorns globally. The space is currently in its hyper-growth phase and several players in it have raised significant capital from reputed investors globally.
Retailo’s co-founders have a track record of working with companies such as Careem, Rocket Internet, Daraz, foodpanda and Shopistan.
Talha was previously the CEO at foodpanda and has previously worked as Senior Director Operations in Careem. Nowkhaiz was Careem’s Head of Strategy for the MENAP region and spearheaded the super app strategy post-Uber acquisition in May 2019. Wahaj is an ex-McKinsey consultant who has earlier worked as GM at Careem.
Khailee Ng, Managing Partner, 500 Startups said: “While they operate one of the fastest-scaling business models in the world, their success means millions of SMEs and rural populations are more productive and have more stability and food security. Technology can impact the next billion, and we’re already seeing it here with what Retailo had been doing.”
Retailo has earlier raised funding from strategic angels in the MENA region’s top startups and leading management consulting firms.