KARACHI: Online trucking marketplace Truck It In has announced raising $1.5 million in a pre-seed round from global and local institutional and angel investors to digitise Pakistan’s road freight industry.
The round was led by Global Founders Capital, a global seed and growth investor that has earlier invested in Facebook and Linkedin, along with Pakistan-based Fatima Gobi Ventures. BitRate Venture Capital, Deosai Ventures and other undisclosed VCs and angel investors, as well as senior executives from Careem and the founders of autonomous vehicles leader Wayve also participated in the round.
A co-founder from the company told Profit that the pre-seed round was closed in March this year while the announcement was made in April when the funds were received by the startup. Furthermore, the company has claimed that the pre-seed round was the largest raised by a startup in the trucking space in the region.
Truck It In is a tech startup focused on streamlining road freight for more than three million businesses in Pakistan, according to a statement from the company. It was founded in late 2020 by Muhammad Sarmad Farooq, Raza Afzal and Haider Navid.
The company presently has operations in Pakistan only in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Faisalabad, with deliveries into smaller cities.
“The three co-founders have built high-performance teams and scaled products that have delivered exponential growth in ride-hailing, food and last-mile deliveries for Careem and Bykea both in Pakistan and the MENA region,” read a statement from the company.
According to the company, Truck It In aims to help businesses scale and run efficiently by connecting them directly to a highly fragmented trucker’s market.
Regarding the company’s ethos, its CEO Muhammad Sarmad Farooq said, “The current middlemen in the heavy industry relies on traditional calling and mental notes to match truckers with shippers. We are going to solve the supply chain inefficiencies in a $25 billion market, that is growing faster than its regional peers, to help unlock more than $1 billion for Pakistani businesses.”
Tito Costa, a partner at Global Founders Capital, said, “We are excited to back the Truck It In team and kickstart their effort to digitise the trucking industry in the country, benefiting both shippers and truck drivers. There is an opportunity to transform the industry by driving efficiencies and cost savings through technology and Truck It In has the perfect team to execute on it.”
Commenting on the investment, Ali Mukhtar of Fatima Gobi Ventures said, “Having backed successful investments in this space in Hong Kong and Southeast Asia, we are excited to add our first trucking portfolio company in Pakistan. We believe the team is well-positioned to lead the disruption in the trucking sector and we look forward to joining the company in its journey, not just to solve challenging old-world logistics problems but also to add significant social value to the livelihood of individual and SME truck owners across the country.”
He further added that FGV’s participation will enable Truck It In to tap into the firm’s LP base, as they represent major industries in Pakistan with sizable shipping operations.