Udhaar Book, a digital book keeping app for small businesses in Pakistan, has raised $6 million in seed funding.
Seed round saw the participation of multiple investors including Fatima Gobi Ventures (FGV), Plaid co-founder William Hockey’s Muir Capital, Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen’s JAM Fund, Commerce Ventures, Liberty City Ventures, Atlas Ventures, Integra Partners, Omri Dahan of Marqeta and Immad Akhund of Mercury Bank.
Money raised will be used for app’s ecosystem.
Udhaar Book launched in 2020. Its purpose was to help small businesses keep track of their sales, expenses and credit. The Udhaar Book app crossed 1+ million installs.
Owned by 3 people, Fahad Kamr, Shah Warraich, and Myra Ali, the app has since expanded its solutions to become a super app for small businesses.
Kamr, Udhaar Book’s founder and CEO, said that “A majority of small business owners in Pakistan continue to do their accounts on paper and process payments in cash which is kept in a wooden cash drawer”.
“So small business owners typically work 16-hour days to monitor this drawer and minimise theft. Solving this problem requires digitising all manual elements of the business, while making the transition as seamless as possible for the already busy business owner,” he said.
“Udhaar Book has now evolved into a super app, essentially an operating system for small businesses. We free up the small merchant’s time so he can spend it with his family and develop the full potential of his business,” he added.
The startup has collaborated with various telecommunications firms and banks including Telenor, Zong, United Bank Limited, and Bank Alfalah in an effort to expand the app ecosystem.
“Our partnerships with telcos, banks, and wallets means Udhaar Book’s 1.4 million small merchants are now able to sell mobile top-ups digitally to earn ancillary income,” Kamr said.
He said that “In the past three months, monthly active users have skyrocketed 300% with over 1.4 million registered users across Pakistan and 510,000 monthly active users.”
“Growth has been great, while retention rates are trending upwards as more business owners stay for our wide variety of solutions,” he said.
FGV General Partner Ali Mukhtar applauded Kamr and his team.
“We can’t wait to see what is next in the pipeline, and are excited to join Udhaar Book on its journey to bring Pakistan into the global digital economy,” he said.
According to the press release, Pakistan is home to an estimated 25-30 million micro-SMEs that are still run manually.
“These small businesses contribute 74% to the country’s gross domestic product, highlighting the massive value-add potential when their operations are digitised,” a statement said.