Tajir, a business to business marketplace that helps kiryana stores source inventory raised $1.8 million worth of investment today, according to a report by TechCrunch. The Lahore based startup serves over 15,000 small neighborhood stores, known colloquially as kiryana stores, by sourcing and delivering inventory for them at transparent and reasonable prices. This bypasses the fluctuating and bloated prices small store owners may face when buying inventory from distribution center or other offline sources.
The startup is the first from Pakistan to be backed by Y Combinator, an American seed money startup accelerator, and announced it had closed a new financing round on Friday. The round was headed by Pakistan’s Fatima Gobi Ventures, VC Karavan, and Dubai’s VentureSouq. Other angel investors also took part in the round.
“We help store owners save money on inventory and help them boost their sales,” said Ismail Khan who co-founded Tajir in 2018 along with his brother Babar. The two brothers, whose father ran an FMCG retail distribution business for three decades, are familiar with the small scale B2B marketplace and saw a need for digitization and organization. To accomplish this, Tajir incorporates an Urdu-only app-based marketplace where retailers can list products and shop owners can buy them easily and conveniently. “The retail is even more unorganized here compared to neighboring nations,” they said, referring to India which has already seen similar online marketplaces take root. The startup is currently serving stores in and around Lahore, with plans to expand across Pakistan.