Over the last two years, Pakistan has seen a massive influx towards e-commerce and the market has surely grown, alongside the market grew fresh e-commerce startups, one of which is PriceOye. An online electronics retailer that claims to sell electronics smartphones, TVs and home appliances at the most competitive prices and quality.
Launched in 2020, the electronics marketplace has now raised seed funding of around $7.9 million from a group of investors including PayPal founder Peter Thiel.
Big business names were involved in the funding, and Tinder founder Justin Mateen’s venture capital firm ‘JAM Funding’ led the round. Investors included names such as Beenext, DG Daiwa, Mantis VC, HOF Capital, Jet.com, Palm Drive Capital and Peter Thiel, etc. This investment in PriceOye was Thiel’s maiden investment in Pakistan.
Despite launching at the start of the pandemic, PriceOye showed commendable growth and went on to serve around 45 million unique users in Pakistan, which accounts for around 37.5% of the country’s population.
Founding brothers Adan and Adeel Shafi worked at two startups before commencing their own businesses. According to the brothers, the idea behind PriceOye struck when they were closely analyzing the South Asian market trends and consumer behavior. Looking at several Indian and Indonesian startups, the brother’s figured out what would work for Pakistan’s e-commerce market.
Realizing that trust is an important factor for South Asian markets, the brothers continued with a marketplace where only brands were allowed to sell their phones, without getting any third party involved. Doing so allowed them to cut out the risk and fear people have before ordering online.
“We realized that in a market, where trust is one of the biggest factors, and there’s a lot of trust deficit between the consumer and the brand, the only way a marketplace can work is the managed marketplace model, which originally started out of China from JD.com, then replicated by Flipkart and a lot of other players in Southeast Asia,” said Adnan Shafi.
Being the biggest mobile phone selling platform on the internet, PriceOye is not only popular in tier one cities, but also in smaller cities. Around 35% of the orders on the platform originate from tier two and tier three cities.
Having raised a fresh new investment, PriceOye now looks toward expanding its 97-member team. Newer plans include offering offline experiences to its customers in places such as shopping malls and including more electronic products in its marketplace.