In recent news, a Lahore-based B2B e-commerce startup called ‘Zarya’ has raised $1.7 million in a pre-seed round led by VCs such as Raed Ventures, with participation from Fatima Gobi Ventures, U.S.-based Class 5 Global, Global Founders Capital.
The startup was founded by two brothers named Faisal and Saad Zahid where the concept of this platform is to enable small sellers (mostly women) to source different products and enable them to sell through their network. Zarya oversees the entire process which includes sourcing the respective products to delivery and payments, and even the overall transfer of the profit once a sale is completed. In addition, the startup has over 3,000 products on its platform with plans to add more in numerous categories such as home textiles, makeup, shoes, and more.
This concept is known as ‘social selling’ which was first pioneered by Meesho in India and has been adapted by different startups from emerging markets including Brimore and Taager from Egypt. Through implementing social selling, Meesho raised over $1 billion in total financing and was even valued at close to $5 billion in its recent funding round.
According to Faisal Zahid, co-founder of Zarya:
“Pakistan has over 100 million YouTube and 45 million Facebook users. Pakistan’s social media users are spending more than 3 hours per day on social media apps. If you’re spending so much time online, it’s quite natural to start buying and selling while on social media apps. We aim to give our sellers every opportunity to thrive in this environment.”
In addition, Wael Nafee, Principal at Raed Ventures, stated the following upon the occasion:
“Raed sees the social commerce space growing rapidly in the MENAP region. Similar markets such as India, China and LATAM are showing early signs of its potential. Zarya’s early commercial traction and product value in Pakistan demonstrate its strong ability to deliver the experience that independent sellers need. Raed is thrilled to partner with Zarya and its team.”
Through the respective funding, Zarya aims to broaden its supply for sellers and further empower women-led businesses.