According to a press release issued today, Markaz Technologies, a Y-Combinator-backed startup from Islamabad, has raised $2.4 million in initial capital headed by Indus Valley Capital.
Angel investors like Kyane Kassiri of Suya Fund and leaders from Careem, Deloitte, Amazon, and Gojek will also participate in the round.
By enabling these micro-entrepreneurs, Markaz is on a mission to accelerate the rails of e-commerce and make it accessible to the masses in Pakistan.
Shoaib Khan, Fawad Hussain, Sameel Hayat, and Umair Aslam — four friends who have worked in big-scale tech organizations such as Telenor, Amazon, Easypaisa, and Alipay in Pakistan and throughout the globe – launched Markaz. During Covid-19, the founders saw that most people were growing increasingly used to shopping online, with many of these transactions taking place through social media platforms such as WhatsApp and Facebook.
The startup seeks to empower Pakistan’s middle class, with a particular focus on women from tier-2 cities, who are currently underrepresented in the country’s financial ecosystem, while also enabling hundreds of thousands of online micro-entrepreneurs. Markaz provides a new start for anybody interested in starting their own business and being financially self-sufficient.
Anyone interested in starting an online reselling business may use Markaz to explore and share over 10,000 goods from a variety of categories to their social media stores. Resellers may then use the app to place orders on behalf of their consumers, which would be delivered to over 300 towns and villages across Pakistan for just Rs. 90. (per order). After delivery, the reseller’s profit on each sale, which they choose, is sent directly to their digital wallets like Easypaisa or Jazz Cash. To give the best possible rates, all items are obtained directly from wholesale suppliers. Markaz is building Pakistan’s largest and fastest-growing reseller community, with more than half of its members being women.