Bykea, a technology platform for on-demand transport and related services, announced Tuesday that it has completed a $5.7 million Series A round of financing from Venture Capital (VC) fund Sarmayacar and institutional investors from South East Asia and the Middle East.
The financing will be used to fund Bykea’s expansion in ride sharing, express delivery and conversion of cash for digital use, for both consumers and businesses across Pakistan.
Bykea was seed funded by a group of angel investors in a round led by Ithaca Capital who have made several pioneering venture capital investments in Pakistan. It was founded by veterans from ecommerce and logistics including Muneeb Maayr, Abdul Mannan, Ishaq Kothawala and Rafiq Malik.
Bykea enables a crowd sourced network of motorbike owners to transport people and parcels allowing them to supplement their incomes while delivering cost effective logistics solutions. It claims to have over 200,000 motorbike owners who have installed the Bykea application to connect with over two million users in Karachi, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Lahore.
Speaking on the occasion, Bykea founder and CEO Muneeb Mayr said, “We’re aiming to solve technology adoption and economic activity for the 200 million people in Pakistan by allowing users to connect with one another via simple steps in Urdu or voice chat.”
He added that they were also working with leading telecommunication providers to enable feature phones, or not-so-smart phones, to connect to the driver partner network of part timers. “The additional investment will pave the way for deeper penetration into the masses enabling Pakistanis at large to use technology to better facilitate personal and business activity in the cities,” he said.
Sarmayacar Managing Partner Rabeel Warraich said, “We are pleased to join Bykea on its journey of building affordable technology solutions that will create income generating opportunities for tens of thousands in Pakistan, while addressing rampant challenges in the transportation, logistics and payments sectors of the country.”
“After regularly visiting Pakistan over the past 3 years, the tremendous potential of the country is obvious to me. Bykea and its team are in a great position to play a leading role not only in advancing the nascent startup sector but can also become a local champion within the overall economy, similar to GoJek’s tremendous success in Indonesia” said Singapore-based Jonas Eichhorst, who will join the company’s board as part of the transaction.
Ithaca Capital Managing Director Haider Ali Hilaly said, “We are excited for the next round of Bykea’s development and welcome the institutional investment that brings relevant expertise from other developing markets to the company.”