Dastgyr Technologies Pvt. has raised $37 million in Pakistan’s largest-ever Series A round. The company seeks to build an e-commerce platform for emerging economies comparable to Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The funding was spearheaded by Veon Ltd.’s venture arm, which put up about 40 per cent of the money. Zinal Growth Fund, DEG, Khwarizmi Ventures, Oman Technology Fund, Cedar Mundi Ventures, Reflect Ventures, Century Oak Capital, Haitou Global, GoingVC, Astir Ventures, K3 Ventures, Chandaria Capital, SOSV, Edgebrook Partners, and EquiTie were among the others who contributed, according to Bloomberg.

Veon’s evolution outside traditional telecom services continues with this round. In Pakistan, it has asked for a licence to operate as a digital bank.


Pakistan’s economy is mostly centred on cash, but innovators are working to change that. Dastgyr is a one-stop platform that connects retailers like grocery stores with different suppliers including Nestle SA and Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc. Currently, most conventional retailers meet 100 vendors per week or physically peruse different markets to stock their shelves.

Veon Ventures’ Chief Executive, Mohammad Khairil Abdullah, said, “As part of Veon’s transformation into a digital operator that delivers a growing range of services to our customers we are investing in leading digital companies like Dastgyr in the countries where we operate. These investments are the building blocks of the digital ecosystem that will enable us to deliver on our strategy”.

“Pakistan’s start-up ecosystem is at a critical juncture and only startups focused on addressing key challenges and adopting localized solutions will survive and thrive,” added Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz.

“This investment highlights VEON’s commitment to scaling up Pakistan’s digital economy and provides Dastgyr with a platform to build synergies with Jazz’s subscriber base of around 75 million and with JazzCash, further integrating the startup into Pakistan’s fintech ecosystem”.

Zohaib Ali, a co-founder of Dastgyr, stated that the company is dedicated to “working persistently toward our ambition of developing an Alibaba for emerging countries worldwide.”

Another co-founder, Muhammad Owais, stated that the company aspires to become a unicorn in the next years. He stated that the company is now growing into new business-to-business areas such as cement, steel, and other construction materials, as well as looking into the electronics, pharmaceutical, and other retail industries.

Dastgyr, which has been in use for less than two years, is used by roughly 100,000 stores in five cities. It attempts to save money by connecting buyers and sellers through a digital platform instead of purchasing and storing everything in physical warehouses.

Within this year, it plans to expand into 15 additional markets in Pakistan and expand internationally.