Pakistan’s on-demand delivery startup Krave Mart raises $6m in pre-seed funding

Recent entrant into quick commerce market plans to stay ahead of competitors by quickly scaling network of dark stores and 10-minute delivery promise

LAHORE: Karachi-based startup and recent entrant in the heated on-demand delivery space, Krave Mart, has announced $6 million in pre-seed funding to compete for a share in a market which has well-funded startups like Pandamart and Airlift. 

The new delivery service is coming in the market with a 10-minute delivery promise to stay ahead of the competitors.  

Investors in Krave Mart’s recent round include MSA Capital and ru-Net which as leads, Zayn Capital and Global Founder Capital (GFC) which co-led the round, Saison Capital, +92Ventures, Indian venture capital (VC) firms 2AM VC and Mehta Ventures, Jeddar Capital and Pakistan’s Lakson Investments. Names like Saad Saeed who is the co-founder of Flink, SWVL leadership like Youssef Salem, Omar Salim and Aly Hesham, Homzmart CEO Mahmood Ibrahim, Fubo TV co-founder Sung Choi and Sajid Rehman of My Asia participated as angel investors in Krave’s pre-seed round. 

Krave Mart shared internal documents with Profit confirming that the amount raised by the startup was $6 million.

Founded by Kassim Shroff, Hammad Bawany, Haziq Ahmed, and Ahsan Kidwai, Krave commercially launched this month and is currently active in Karachi with four dark stores. The startup plans to set up 20 more dark stores within a period of one month, scaling their presence in multiple geographies locally, followed by setting up operations in South Asian countries Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh as the startup chases the unicorn status. 

Quick commerce is on the rise ever since the pandemic started with Europe’s Gorilas and Flink, US-based JOKR, and Turkey’s Q-commerce startup Getir raising big rounds in very short durations and vaulting into the unicorn club.

In Pakistan, quick commerce picked up as soon as the pandemic started with startups like Airlift claiming to bag record funding in 2021, the year which has seen Pakistan’s startups rake in a record $313 million so far. 

Delivery Hero-backed Foodpanda also moved into grocery deliveries and so did food delivery startup Cheetay, making it a space with serious competition for Krave in quick commerce.

All these startups promise quick deliveries for grocery products through a network of dark stores; they earn income from the difference in purchase price and sale price, however, the margins are restricted due to high costs of deliveries. 

How does Krave plan to compete in such a space? Kasim Shroff, the company’s co-founder and CEO claims that it is the team at Krave, with people from Foodpanda, Cheetay, Careem and Swvl, who know the space and the logistics operations which gives them an edge over others. 

It is the team that is going to help them establish the dark stores infrastructure with speed and ensure more delivery orders. The startup claims that they have been growing phenomenally, but refused to disclose the number of delivery orders they were doing. 

It further promises to deliver orders in 10 minutes, faster than all of its competitors, and says that it is committed to ensuring that orders are delivered within the promised time. 

“Our aim is to give people back some of their valuable time that they would otherwise spend by going to neighbourhood grocery stores. We will do that by ensuring a 10-minute delivery of quality products,” Shroff said.

Haziq Ahmed, co-founder and COO, claimed that Pakistan has the potential for over 500 dark stores with high population density areas. “We aspire to build a sustainable business model starting with groceries and eventually incorporating fashion, beauty, electronics and other categories super customised as per locality and consumer. The 10-minute delivery model is going to be the game-changer for this industry and will set a bar for all the players to come in the Q-Commerce landscape.” 

Commenting on the investment, MSA Capital said: “Quick commerce will redefine how users shop for groceries in Pakistan, which today is a hyper-fragmented and inefficient experience. We’ve benchmarked and invested in similar models globally and believe Pakistan is a market ripe for disruption. Given their relevant backgrounds, Kassim, Haziq, Ahsan and Hammad are best suited to execute this model and build Pakistan’s leader.” 

Faisal Aftab, co-founder and managing partner of Zayn Frontier Fund said: “The Krave team consists of people from Daraz, FoodPanda and SWVL. We feel that the collective experience of this team will allow them to scale rapidly as they have no learning curve in the quick commerce vertical”.

“We’re really excited to be a part of their journey to create the next generation of e-commerce and delivery in Pakistan,” he added. 

 

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Taimoor Hassan
The author is a staff member and can be reached at [email protected]

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