Rider, a Karachi-based e-commerce logistics firm, has raised $3.1 million in a round led by a number of investors, the company reported today via TechCrunch.
Y Combinator led the round, which included new investors i2i, Flexport, Soma Capital, and Rebel Fund. GFC, Fatima Gobi, TPL E-ventures, and Dropbox co-founder Arash Ferdowsi were among the returning investors. This takes the total amount raised by the Karachi-based firm to $5.4 million since last year.
According to Rider’s CEO, Salman Allana, the new funding will be used to build in-house technology such as e-commerce enablement tools like plug-ins and built-in wallets to help SMEs, the majority of which are owned by women.
“We’re fundamentally constructing for ‘urban logistics,’ so massive sorting facilities and spaces aren’t required,” he explained. Our network is made up of a number of small delivery hubs that are strategically located to service high-volume e-commerce zones and can shift when these zones change.”
Rider’s network, according to Allana, includes mobile warehouses (or pre-sorted vans) and empty parking lots at malls and gas stations. In addition, the corporation wants to open delivery facilities in convenience stores. This means that distribution centres can adapt to changes in high-volume e-commerce zones.
“I learnt that the traditional delivery payers were not set up or equipped to service the online retail trend and that change from the inside would be slow and costly. The COVID pandemic saw a huge and irreversible shift in online shopping across Pakistan. Only a built-for-purpose, dynamic, growth-focused startup could capture this opportunity on time,” he remarked.
“We’ve proven our last mile solutions work, we’ve proven they work at scale, and now we need to prove they work sustainably before we enter other verticals,” he said, adding, “We’ve proven our last mile solutions work, we’ve proven they work at scale, and we now need to prove they work sustainably before we enter other verticals.”
Rider is already planning its next step and, as Allana indicated, trialled its B2B mobility (overland transportation) in January.
Rider, which was founded in 2019, is building a system of sorting hubs, distribution centres, and a digital fleet. Its technology enables businesses to provide customers with next-day delivery, route optimization, live tracking, and scheduling. Since its pre-seed fundraising round in September 2021, the company’s monthly revenues have increased by 110 percent, and its client base has grown to 650 online businesses.
Rider has delivered three million things across 60 cities in Pakistan so far, and it now has a network of 16 hubs that serve 60 cities.