Bookme, Pakistan’s top e-ticketing platform with over 4.6 million registered clients in the transportation and the entertainment industries has raised roughly $7.5 million in Series A fundraising round.
Travel and ticketing platform comparable to Traveloka in Indonesia, Bookme.pk enables users with online bookings for intercity buses, airlines, hotels and events in Pakistan.
The round was co-led by Zayn Capital, seed investor Lakson VC and UAE-based Hayaat Global with participation from MENA based BY Ventures and Jabbar Internet Group, New York based Millville Opportunities and Silicon-Valley based Mentor’s Fund.
Faizan Aslam, CEO & Founder of Bookme, voiced his views:
Our priority at Bookme has always been the consumer experience. With this mind we have designed a completely integrated platform that allows clients to smoothly make bookings with the press of a mouse. We digitised the paper-based transport and travel sector in Pakistan to establish a plug and play distribution system that inter-connects reservation systems of intercity buses, domestic & international flights, hotels and events.
In our view, making the total experience cashless through APIs to enable Super App payment applications was a vital component of completing the digital experience.”
With the biggest number of day-to-day digital transactions for banks and payment gateways, Bookme is Pakistan’s first cashless platform. To assist ensure a transparent, easy, and efficient e-ticketing system in Pakistan, Bookme has teamed with the nation’s top mobile wallet platform to provide its clients BNPL services, which use historical data and spending patterns of over six million customers.
Due to major infrastructure investments over the previous five years, the road infrastructure and connectivity in Pakistan has improved on an unprecedented scale, resulting in tremendous expansion of the intercity bus segment. In addition, large urban cities in Pakistan contain a significant number of rural migrants, resulting in a strong demand for bus travel for their work commute.
Babar Lakhani, Managing Partner of Lakson Venture Capital, commented:
Bookme is headed by an amazing team with a clear vision which has helped it to develop swiftly and dominate the travel and ticketing business in Pakistan. We are happy to continue to invest in Bookme and fully think that the Series A funding will allow Bookme to expand its operations, boost its market share and alter the travel and ticketing industry in the country.”
Faisal Aftab, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Zayn Capital Frontier Fund, stated:
From its seed stage to its growth into one of Pakistan’s leading booking platforms, we have been watching Bookme’s progress. We’re really proud to be a continuous part of their path since we feel that this team is capable of developing a Unicorn.”
Increasing demand for buses is also attributed to cost effectiveness and shorter travel distances in highly populated provinces such as Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. With domestic tourism and entertainment on the rise over the past several years, the 82 million-strong middle class, made up mostly of Millennials and Generation Z, has contributed to the surge in demand for buses, airlines, hotels and entertainment venues.
Mohammed Ikhlaq, Director of Hayaat Global SFO DMCC, believes:
Bookme offers one of the most robust e-ticketing platforms due of its targeted approach and client centricity. Under Faizan’s inspirational leadership, this great team has proved its market nous with distinctive, appealing offerings and collaborations that have accelerated its trajectory. We are happy to play a role in their growth narrative and objectives, and we fully expect them to continue scaling new peaks as the digital economy grows in Pakistan.”
Over 300 million dollars have been raised by Pakistani businesses so far in 2021. The country has leapfrogged in internet users from 20 million in 2015 to more than 100 million in 2021. Platforms like Bookme.pk are primed to develop fast as one of the most notable local use cases for this burgeoning digital economy.