Pakistan’s digital economy received a boost this week with news of a major investment in the country’s e-commerce sector.
VEON Ltd, a global digital operator that provides mobile connectivity and services, has completed a US$15 million investment through its VEON Ventures division as part of a Series A round for Dastgyr, a Pakistan-based B2B e-commerce marketplace platform.
Dastgyr offers businesses a one-stop-shop application that connects thousands of retailers with suppliers to give them access to real-time visibility on pricing and financing rates. Platform partners have included Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Reckitt. VEON Ventures’ investment in Dastgyr Series A funding was made alongside approximately 16 other investors.
As for its next move, Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO of VEON Ventures says: “By bringing together Dagstyr's e-commerce business with [operator] Jazz's communications network and JazzCash's mobile payments platform, we will catalyse growth in digital services in Pakistan. This would be further enhanced by the digital banking services that we have ambitions to provide.”
Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz adds: “This investment highlights VEON’s commitment to scaling up Pakistan’s digital economy and provides Dastgyr with a platform to build synergies with Jazz’s subscriber base of 75 million and, with JazzCash, further integrating the start-up into Pakistan’s fintech ecosystem.”
The deal is VEON Ventures’ largest investment in a Pakistan-based start-up and, the company says, reflects the Group’s continued commitment to the region and to the growth of Pakistan’s digital economy.
Dastgyr will remain an independent entity, with a minority position being taken by VEON Ventures. The new investment round will support Dastgyr’s expansion into 15 new cities in Pakistan, alongside its existing network in Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot and Gujranwala.