The popular AgriTech start-up in the digital fresh produce platform from Lahore has managed to successfully raise about $2M in its latest Pre-Seed funding round. This particular pre-seed funding round was led by Global Founders Capital. The round was also joined by Zayn Capital and recorded participation from Ratio Ventures, Walled City Co, i2i Ventures, Suya Ventures, Globivest, Afropreneur Syndicate, +92 Ventures, Sunu Capital, Musha Investments. It was also participated by some notable angel investors like senior executives from ride-hailing platforms Careem and Swvl.
Tazah platform has made it possible for 300 small-to-medium-sized sellers to have bought inventory and currently providing five main kinds of products including ginger, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, and onions. It’s notable, that the agriculture sector is Pakistan’s largest sector in contribution terms. But even though that’s the case, it’s fragmented and complicated the supply chains that have led to inflated prices along with food waste, and low profits for farmers. Tazah has had a simple goal since its launch from the pain points in a mission to integrate tech to streamline supply chains and connect businesses to produce efficient quality in produces.
The dip in Early-Stage deals was in congruence with a general slump in the total number of deals closed both in Pakistan and other Emerging Venture Markets across the Middle East. But despite the three-year slump in Early-Stage funding rounds across MENA, Turkey, and Pakistan, early-stage startups have been raising relatively higher rounds. The average ticket size is increased by early-stage startups that include both Pre-Seed and Seed rounds. And they have been observing a 3 consecutive year growth between 2019 and H1 this year and from $400K to $2.3M in Pakistan.
The supply chains in Pakistan are fragmented and they end up with a lot of wastage of produce by around 40 percent due to faulty packaging, shipping and unloading damaging, and inconsistent shipping procedures. But Tazah has launched to make it easier for streamlining that process by creating shorter and more streamlined routes, creating an active network and solid logistics infrastructure. The asset-light approach they took is working with third-party warehousing centers that give Tazah the right amount of push for disruption in the sector and that’s not all. The startup was solely established for that purpose since the founders of Tazah Abrar Bajwa and Mohsin Zaka saw the concerning agricultural issues as a means of new opportunity. The opportunity to change the overall ecosystem specifically in the agriculture sector.
Co-founder Abrar Bajwa highlighted “We are from central Punjab and every family there has something to do with agriculture. We had seen firsthand how farmers, or people who are involved in smallholder farming, do not encounter social mobility based on how the deck is stacked against them.”
Co-Founder Abrar Bajwa elaborated, “We have spent months in wholesale markets, we’ve interviewed hundreds of retailers and we got to know that standardization of product is needed in Pakistan. We get into the bottom of operations because retailers will know what exactly is in the sack.”
Co-founder Mohsin Zaka added “We’re not just a box-moving operation because, in one sack of potatoes, there can be multiple rotten potatoes, so you don’t want to just buy from farmers and then give to retailers. That doesn’t add a lot of value.”
Currently focusing on the supply chain, the team at Tazah plans to use these freshly raised funds to expand and diversify the production of their product by providing the growing seller network. And more importantly, the work towards adding financing options for farmers in order to better understand the capital farmers need and how they will be able to repay it.
Zaka concluded “Financing is something we are aggressively looking after because it’s a future play for us and we are working with farmers to know what they are doing, and how they are actually getting financing. Agriculture has been a mostly ignored sector in Pakistan from a technology perspective, and I think that as more people come into this, they’re going to help each other, as opposed to competing with each other. We feel that as more people come in, it will be better because it will accelerate problem-solving in this very difficult space.”