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Karachi’s Zaraye Raises $2.1 Million in Pre-Seed Investment

Karachi-based business-to-business raw materials marketplace, Zaraye, raises $2.1 million in their pre-seed round from Tiger Global and Zayn Capital.

Other investors include +92 Ventures, Alan Rutledge, Jack Rizvi, and current and former Careem employees holding key positions in their tenures. This is Tiger Global’s first pre-seed investment in Pakistan.

Founded in late 2021, Zaraye helps manufacturing businesses procure raw materials and finance the working capital. It is currently serving clients across the textile and construction industries, with over 300 partners and suppliers spread out in 20+ cities.

Pakistan’s industrial manufacturing sector contributes to 20 percent of the country’s economy with a $35 billion raw material market annually, with raw materials contributing 60-65 percent of the total costs for the manufacturers. In conditions where net margins are thin, finding efficiency in costs becomes critical for these businesses to win orders and sustain against competition locally and globally. Additionally, SMEs have always found acquiring financing a huge battle for their businesses from financial institutions, and are forced to turn to informal markets with ~2.5x premiums.

Co-founder and CEO of Zaraye, Ahsan Ali Khan, commented:

We aim to strengthen the backbone of the country’s economy by helping the entrepreneurs in finding avenues to optimize and scale. Zaraye will help our partners to compete locally and globally as they find more savings in time and money to create the best products. With the confidence of amazing investors in Zaraye, we are geared to supercharge our mission to reach millions of users.

Traditionally, a manufacturer would connect with a handful of intermediaries or directly with the suppliers with a tedious process of going through multiple phone calls and waiting for them to furnish rates. This process is long and tedious, and brings very limited options for the buyers to make a decision. With Zaraye, buyers of raw materials can simply post their requirements for the required product, and the relevant suppliers can furnish quotes in real-time, making the information for buying decisions vast and quick. At the same time, the suppliers can access consolidated demand volumes with the vast network of buyers on Zaraye’s platform.

Managing Partner & Co-Founder of Zayn Capital BitRate Fund, Faisal Aftab, commented:

Procurement in the manufacturing industry is a massive problem with similar models showing immense success in comparable markets. We believe in the Zaraye team and their capabilities in solving this problem in Pakistan. We’re super excited to be a part of their journey.

Zaraye is available across platforms with their iOS, Android, and web app. The platform helps buyers of raw materials connect with a multitude of suppliers who furnish their quotes in real-time making the process faster and hassle-free.

Zaraye was founded by IBA class fellows, Taha Iqbal Teli, Hashair Junaid Ahmedani, and Ahsan Ali Khan, who worked together on multiple instances throughout their academic and professional careers. Taha and Ahsan have been part of the tech ecosystem for the past five years, with experience at giants like Careem and Swvl. Ahsan led Swvl’s Travel category for Pakistan in his last stint, while Taha led the TaaS product for Karachi before launching the Daewoo Adda, a logistics product for transportation’s leading player Daewoo.

Meanwhile, Hashair after completing his post-graduate degree at the University of Bath, where he studied with Taha, returned to Pakistan to join his family business in Karachi. Hashair soon found his passion in the hospitality industry introducing Czech and Levantian cuisine to Pakistan with two successful ventures while building an FMCG brand for imported coffee from Latin America.

Co-founder of Zaraye, Hashair Junaid Ahmedani, added:

Small and medium business owners have been trapped in a cycle of high competition and lack of financing options- Zaraye aims to help these businesses scale as they find the efficiencies in procurement and financing options to make better decisions for their businesses.

Co-founder of Zaraye, Taha Iqbal Teli, said:

Our goal is to help these entrepreneurs focus on manufacturing and selling their products. Zaraye will handle the entire procurement process, all the way from getting quotes, assuring quality, and delivering to their doorsteps with any after-sales assistance our partners might require. Our partners remain at the heart of all our endeavors and we believe this massive problem cannot be solved without a world-class team. As we build great solutions for our customers, we are always on the lookout for great talent and I would encourage everyone who feels passionately about building solutions at scale that make lives easy and loved by customers to apply away.

Having worked together on multiple projects, the three came together to solve one of the biggest problems faced by the manufacturing industry in emerging markets.

Hashair’s experience while working with his family business was critical in understanding the problems faced by the businessmen and how they operate. The team amalgamates context from legacy businesses and builds modern solutions at scale.

Zaraye has built a strong team with experience from Swvl, the PWC UK chapter, Daraz, and Louis Dreyfus, and their tech team is led by ex-CTO Cheetay, Asif Ali.

Source: Pro Pakistan