The logistics start-up Rider, based in Karachi, has raised $3.1 million in a seed round, bringing its total funding raised since September 2021 to $5.4 million. Rider’s goal is to provide an Amazon-like next-day delivery service for e-commerce enterprises.
Since its founding in 2019, Rider has been developing a network of sorting hubs, urban delivery facilities, and a digitalized fleet to provide next-day delivery for online sellers in Pakistan. The platform includes digital warehousing for sellers, real-time tracking and scheduling for buyers, and route optimization for delivery agencies.
Rider’s monthly revenues have increased by 110 percent since their pre-seed financing round in September 2021, and their customer base has doubled to 650 online businesses. Over 3 million shipments have now been delivered by the business across 60 locations in Pakistan.
“We created Rider because we were aware that the traditional courier services in Pakistan were not equipped to handle the e-commerce business and were not able to capitalize on the trend of online shopping. According to Mr. Allana, the company’s founder and CEO, around $1 billion GMV [gross merchandise value] is wasted each year as a result of sluggish and failed deliveries.
“I discovered that internal change would be long and expensive and that the traditional delivery payers were not set up or suited to handle the online shopping trend,” Allana said. “The COVID pandemic caused a significant and permanent shift in Pakistan toward internet buying. This potential could only be successfully taken advantage of by a dynamic, growth-focused startup.
A notoriously expensive industry is logistics. The network of delivery facilities Rider is establishing, according to Allana, isn’t what you might anticipate. Instead, they include unoccupied spots in mall parking lots, mobile warehouses (or pre-sorted vans), and gas stations. In the future, Rider wants to see delivery services available in kiranas, or convenience stores. As high-volume e-commerce zones shift, delivery centers can move accordingly.
We don’t need big sorting centers or spaces since we’re constructing for “urban logistics,” he stated. Our network is made up of a lot of little delivery places that are positioned specifically to serve high-volume e-commerce zones and are eventually adaptable to shift when these zones change.
With the support of its in-house technology, including e-commerce enablement tools like plug-ins and built-in wallets, Rider will utilize its new capital to help SMEs, the majority of whom, according to Allana, are owned by women, expand their operations.
Our goal has been to lead the nation in providing end-to-end e-commerce logistics solutions, according to Allana. However, we view logistics as a sequence of building bricks that must all be successful from an operational and financial standpoint before we can go on to the next. Today, Rider provides doorstep delivery to its consumers. Before we enter additional verticals, we must demonstrate that our last-mile solutions are sustainable and that they operate at scale. Rider, he continued, is already considering the next stage and began testing its B2B movement—overland trucking—in January.
i2i managing partner Kalsoom Lakhani stated in a prepared statement: “As the e-commerce business in Pakistan expands, so will the demand for a next-generation 3PL player who comprehends the Pakistani market realities and knows how to build both aggressively but also efficiently. We are so confident in Salman and his vision that we think this player is Rider.
Although it’s still rooted in brick and mortar, he claimed that the retail sector is worth more than $150 billion. We wholeheartedly support the initiative to make it possible for more than 1 million, largely female-owned Instagram and Facebook vendors to engage in commerce.
Image Credit: Rider