Pakistani fintech startup Trukkr raises $6.4 mln, gets lending licence
KARACHI, Pakistan, March 7 (Reuters) - Trukkr, a fintech platform for Pakistan’s trucking industry, said on Tuesday it had raised $6.4 million in a funding round and also received a non-banking financial company (NBFC) licence.
Trukkr offers Pakistan’s small- and medium-sized trucking companies a transport management system and supply chain solutions, and is unique in providing fintech to digitise the largely unbanked and undocumented industry.
The seed funding round was led by U.S. based Accion Venture Lab and London based Sturgeon Capital. Haitou Global, Al Zayani Venture Capital and investor Peter Findley also participated in the round, Trukkr said in a statement.
The company's business model is similar to Kargo in Indonesia, Solvento in Mexico and Kobo 360 in Africa, but has been adapted to the market in Pakistan.
Trukkr said less than 5% of trucking companies using its platform have access to financial services, often having to wait up to 90 days for payments and leaving them unable to cover expenses such as fuel, tolls and truck maintenance.
Sheryar Bawany, Trukkr CEO and co-founder, told Reuters that it was looking to launch financial products at a "reasonable risk adjusted spread" to the benchmark Karachi Interbank Offered Rate (KIBOR).
Co-founder Mishal Adamjee said there are some 20,000 drivers on Trukkr's platform, servicing 100 of the biggest companies in the country including Shan Foods, Artistic Milliners, International Industries Limited and Lucky Cement.
Adamjee told Reuters that Pakistan's $35 billion a year trucking industry is growing at 10% annually despite limited rail and water freight infrastructure.
Investor Accion Venture Lab said the Covid pandemic had shown how much the world relied on global supply chains.
"We want to bet on a company striving to tackle inefficiencies in a market filled with opportunities," it said in the statement.
According to Pakistan’s Board of Investment, projected demand for freight transport will double by 2025 and increase six-fold by 2050 to 600 billion freight tonnes-kilometre, particularly as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor kicks in.
Other freight marketplace startups in Pakistan include Truck It In, BridgeLinx and Freightix.
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