Tiger Global backs Pakistan’s CreditBook in $11m round

CreditBook claims to be leading digital bookkeeping solution amongst small business owners in country.

KARACHI: Digital bookkeeping startup Fintech startup CreditBook today announced it has closed a $11 million pre-Series A round led by US-based Tiger Global and UK-based firstminute capital.

This marks the first investment for both funds in the country. 

Previous investors include Better Tomorrow Ventures, who led the earlier round, VentureSouq, Ratio Ventures and i2i Ventures also took part in the current round. Angel investors who participated in the new and oversubscribed round include Julian Shapiro, Turner Novak, Sriram Krishnan, and operators from companies such as AirBnB, Microsoft, Robinhood and Lazada.

An internal document shared by the startup confirms that the amount raised was $11 million. 

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Since its launch in June 2020, CreditBook claims to have become the leading digital bookkeeping solution amongst small business owners in the country. Prior to this, scores of small businesses remained entirely reliant on paper- based bookkeeping for business management. 

Today, the startup claims their application is being used in over 400 towns and cities, with a 10x increase in transacting users on the platform over the previous year, signalling strong product-led growth. The company continues to expand on its existing offerings that include cash flow management, reporting and repayment reminders, and is gearing up to enable entrepreneurs further with the provision of financial services.

“Pakistan remains one of the world’s most financially excluded countries in terms of equality of access to products, services and payment infrastructure, but things are changing rapidly,” read a statement from the startup. “Since the pandemic, the country of 220 million people has seen an uptick in the adoption of digital financial services. Mobile money transactions have grown from approximately 800,000 per day to 2 million transactions per day and over 60% of the population is under 30 years of age, which makes the population of Pakistan one of the youngest in the world, and highly receptive to digital financial innovation.”

Iman Jamall, co-founder of CreditBook, who is one amongst a handful of female founders in the country, said: “Financial products and services have been designed in a way that overlooks the needs of small and medium sized businesses, but now technological and demographic trends are reinforcing each other in a positive manner. That’s what makes CreditBook’s timing so relevant.”

“For many, this is their first business management tool. Once they see an improvement in their cash flows, they come back to us with a sense of confidence, often searching for new ways to grow their business through the app. The connection between finance and welfare doesn’t seem out of reach anymore,” she added.

According to the company’s estimates, it is planning to address an estimated $45 billion unmet financing gap for small businesses. CreditBook will use the fresh funds to strengthen its team, focus on value added features for cash flow management, and position itself as a leading financial service provider for small business owners.

John Curtius, partner at Tiger Global Management, said, “We are excited to partner with CreditBook and make Tiger Global’s first investment into Pakistan. The investment is a testament to the incredible traction and vision demonstrated by the team.”

“What we’re building is really a one-stop solution for entrepreneurs to improve their financial outcomes in multiple areas of life. This vision can only be achieved if we build it alongside some of the brightest people around the world. As a remote first organisation, we’ve already been successful in attracting good talent and we will continue to focus on creating a culture for people to thrive,” said Hasib Malik, CEO and co-founder of CreditBook.

 

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

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