LAHORE: Pakistan’s buy now pay later platform (BNPL) QisstPay Wednesday claimed that they had raised $15 million across seed and pre-seed rounds with a mix of equity and debt.
The funding for QisstPay comes during a flurry of foreign investors leading funding rounds for Pakistan’s startups. QisstPay’s funding round was led by China’s MSA Capital, with institutional investment participation from Global Founders Capital, Fox Ventures, First Check Ventures.
Strategic angel investors who participated in the round include Scalapay co-founders Simone Mancini and Johnny Mitrevski, who recently raised a $155 million Series-A round at a $700 million valuation; former Venmo CFO and current Sylp CFO Ashley Davies, former C-suite at Affirm; and Adam Mawdesley, vice president of partnerships and product at Splitit.
The round also included participation from Pakistan’s United Bank Limited.
QisstPay is an installment payment service for emerging markets which plans to address the lack of flexibility, integration, and the hidden fees currently plaguing Pakistan’s payments landscape by giving customers an efficient, adaptable, interest free platform.
The idea is not new to Pakistani consumers who are able to get installment plans from some traders. Except that such plans come with an interest charged, making the product eventually expensive for the consumer.
QisstPay on the other hand charges the merchant it onboards for these services, who get better sales because of instalment plans. When chosen at checkout, QisstPay allows customers to pay for their purchase in installments with zero per cent interest and no late fees.
Essentially, the service allows consumers to pay for everyday necessities, effectively building better cash management in what is otherwise considered a very cash-driven society. The majority of people in Pakistan don’t have the financial background to get approved for credit cards and, therefore, present an opportunity for QisstPay to help consumers manage their day to day expenses.
QisstPay lets people buy the things they actually need like a mobile phone, clothing and food, while allowing them to pay for their purchases over time.
QisstPay co-founder and CEO Jordan Olivas is a former Klarna employee. Klarna is a Swedish fintech company which is now one of the world’s biggest BNPL platforms.
At Klarna US, Jordan supported the launch of the company’s ‘Pay In 4’ solution which allowed consumers to pay for their purchases in four instalments.
“After moving here to Pakistan, I noticed how badly the people of this country need a financial tool to help them purchase goods and services that they not only want, but actually need,” says Olivas. “Over 60% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30, which means that the majority of the country is adopting new technologies. Yet, so many people still believe that Pakistan isn’t ready to adopt a BNPL system. The rapid growth and use of a platform like QisstPay proves otherwise.”
In a statement, QisstPay claimed that it was growing rapidly and had seen a 92 per cent growth rate week to week. Currently, they claim to serve over 500 retailers in Pakistan including the likes of Samsung, Camelbak, Diesel, Philips, Xiaomi, Lenovo and regional leaders such as Sapphire, Uniworth, Logo Shoes, and the largest Shopify store in the country, elo (export leftovers).
“Export leftovers has recently seen another high of hitting the fastest spike of 85 per cent on average order value ever since we have started to offer Qisstpay BNPL to our customers,” says Umar Qamar, co-founder of Elo.
QisstPay plans to use the funding from this round for the expansion of QisstPay’s services, which includes the funding of transactions and partnerships with traditional Pakistani financial institutions, and team. They are also expanding their services to include Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
By the end of this year, they are looking to expand their Islamabad-based team to over 100 people,
“Pakistan is one of the most often overlooked countries when it comes to fintech investments,” says Tim Chen, general partner at MSA Capital. “However, it’s also one of the countries with the most potential. We’re excited to be working with QisstPay to help bring one of the biggest global populations some much-needed financial services and tools. We’re not only investing in the company and its founders, we’re investing in their impact.”