Airlift, Pakistani mobility start-up, announced that it has raised US$ 10M in its recent round of funding led by San Francisco-based Quiet Capital.
The round, Series A-1, comes eight months after Airlift closed its Series A round at US$ 12M, achieving the country’s largest Series A. This takes Airlift’s total funding raised till date to over US$ 24M. London-based TrueSight Ventures & RT Ventures, Abu Dhabi-based Shorooq Partners, Taiwan-based ACE Capital also participated in the round. Existing investors that participated include San Francisco-based First Round Capital, Fatima Gobi Ventures and Indus Valley Capital.
“We are excited to team up with investors who share our vision of building a decentralised logistics platform, as well as our commitment to create a positive impact in the region,” said the start-up.
According to the start-up, the recent round marks one of the largest capital investments in the region. This marks a high for Pakistan’s start-up ecosystem as currently there is a big risk of a global recession.
Launched in 2019, Airlift allows for users to book rides in Lahore & Karachi on premium quality buses that have fixed routes, stops, timings. Its services have been temporarily suspended since March as the number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan continues to grow.
The Pakistani start-up has announced the launch of Airlift Grocer, a 45-minute grocery delivery service in Lahore to expand into the rapidly growing grocery delivery industry due to the pandemic-induced-lockdown. After running a private beta for over a month, the service launched on 1 July 2020. Airlift has its own inventory and warehouse and the riders that are delivering the orders are freelancers.
Users can order groceries and household essentials through the website and the mobile app on App Store and Google Play. For every order, it charges a flat fee of less than a dollar (PKR 100 or US$ 0.6).
Even though grocery delivery is already a crowded space in Pakistan, only few companies offer fast same-day delivery. This is what will make customers rely on Airlift Grocer and is their competitive advantage. Usman Gul, the co-founder and CEO of Airlift, said “We want to offer customers a fast grocery delivery experience and optionality (wide range of SKUs) and that’s what we’ve built our operations and tech around.”
Gul also explained the benefits of having its own inventory. The offline grocery stores and hypermarkets don’t always have correct inventory information reflected in their online systems. Therefore, relying on them would not allow Airlift to offer the experience they aim to provide to their customers. “The technology we’ve built ensures that all our orders are almost always delivered accurately”, said Gul.