Pakistani blockchain marketplace completes record $30M raise

Pakistani blockchain-powered business-to-business (B2B) marketplace, Bazaar Technologies, has secured $30 million in the country’s largest Series A round to date.

Bazaar announced the closure of its latest raise on Aug. 24, revealing that th Silicon Valley-based Defy Partners and Singapore’s Wavemaker Partners had led the funding round.

The round also saw participation from dozens of other investors, including Endeavor, LinkedIn, Japan’s Saison Capital, and existing investors Indus Valley Capital and Alter Global.

Bazaar claims to be the leading B2B marketplace platform for small merchants in Pakistan, serving 750,000 merchants spanning 400 towns and villages. Many of Bazaar’s users are small ‘mom-and-pop’ grocery stores (locally known as “kiryana” stores) which use the platform to purchase inventory from suppliers.

Bazaar’s latest round brings the firm’s total funding to $37.8 million, building on its $6.5 million seed round in January of this year and $1.3 million pre-seed round in June 2020. 

Bazaar was founded by Saad Jangda and Hamza Jawaid in 2019. Janga previously worked as a product manager at local Uber subsidiary, Careem, while Jawaid worked for management consulting firm, McKinsey.

Related: Crypto users demand reinstatement of Pakistani government adviser following sudden resignation

Pakistan’s government has made moves to develop a more permissive regulatory apparatus for the nation’s crypto sector in recent months.

In November, Pakistan’s Securities and Exchange Commission published a consultation paper exploring the benefits of crypto assets and tokenization. The document also welcomed industry feedback on how local regulations should be developed.

In March, the Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa announced it would host two hydro-powered crypto mining farms for a state-backed mining pilot.