CreditBook, a Pakistani fintech that helps micro-entrepreneurs digitize and keep records of their transactions, has raised $11 million fund.
According to CreditBook, the round was led by renowned venture capital firms Tiger Global and firstminute Capital, both of which invested in Pakistan for the first time. Other investors included VentureSouq, Ratio Ventures and i2i Ventures.
In addition, angel investors included Julian Shapiro, Turner Novak, Sriram Krishnan, and operators from companies such as AirBnB, Microsoft, Robinhood and Lazada, the startup said. The latest funding will enable CreditBook to “strengthen its team, focus on value added features for cash flow management and position itself as a leading financial service provider for small business owners”.
The startup, which was launched in 2020, is the “leading digital bookkeeping solution” among micro-entrepreneurs in Pakistan, according to the statement. CreditBook said its app is being used in more than 400 towns and cities of the country and has seen an increase of 10 times in the number of its users which signals “strong product-led growth”.
“The company continues to expand on its existing offerings that include cash flow management, reporting and repayment reminders and is gearing up to enable entrepreneurs further with the provision of financial services,” the statement added. The company is addressing a $45 billion unmet financing gap for small businesses, according to the statement.
CreditBook co-founder Iman Jamall pointed out that financial products and services had been designed in a way that did not address the needs of small business owners but “now technological and demographic trends are reinforcing each other in a positive manner”, which was what made the startup “so relevant”.
“For many, this is their first business management tool. Once they see an improvement in their cash flows, they come back to us with a sense of confidence, often searching for new ways to grow their business through the app. The connection between finance and welfare doesn’t seem out of reach anymore,” the statement further quoted her as saying.
“What we’re building is really a one-stop solution for entrepreneurs to improve their financial outcomes in multiple areas of life,” co-founder and CEO Hasib Malik added.
Meanwhile, John Curtis, a partner at Tiger Global, termed the investment a “testament to the incredible traction and vision demonstrated by the [CreditBook] team”. Firstminute Capital’s Sam Endacott said, “We have been studying [Pakistan] and understand the country is at an inflection point seen before in other emerging markets. This, coupled with the quality of the team, means CreditBook has the chance to build a category leader in Pakistan Fintech.”
Reacting to the development, Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar noted that Tiger Global has “more unicorns (startups with billion $ plus valuation) than any other venture capital firm [in] the world”. “The best & the biggest in the world discovering value and investing in Pakistan,” he added. The company previously raised $1.5m in seed funding in May this year.
Two of the company’s founders — Iman Jamall and Hasib Malik — were also named in the Forbes Asia 30 under 30 List for 2021 in the Social Impact category.
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