Lahore-based agri-supply chain platform, Jiye Technologies has claimed to have raised $2.5 million in its pre-seed fundraising round, as the farm-to-retail firm rolls its operations across Pakistan’s major towns.
The round was joined by Pakistan’s Sarmayacar, UAE-based Access Bridge Ventures and Jabbar Internet Group, UK-based EquiTie and Swiss VC company Seedstars. The financing was also joined by angel investors from MENAP (Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan), Europe and North America.
Following the pre-seed round, Jiye Technologies wants to extend its presence in locations other than Lahore where it is based, followed by international expansion.
Pakistan’s farm-to-retail supply chain is largely fragmented and dominated by middlemen which buy farm commodities from farmers at reduced rates. By the time the product reaches retailers, the price has escalated twofold because of the commissions charged by many partners in the supply chain.
Multiple parties also buy at arbitrary prices which results in severe price uncertainty on a daily basis. The fresh product is transported in outmoded vehicles in a chaotic and time consuming manner, which increases wastage and diminishes the shelf life of vegetables and fruits.
Founded by Ali Amin. Ahmad Bilal and Osama Salman, Jiye Technologies wants to digitize the agri-sector in Pakistan by enabling farmers’ easier access to key markets and convenient sourcing to retailers by developing a lean supply chain ecosystem.
Jiye Technologies allows fruit and vegetable vendors to order straight through the Jiye app. The corporation then transports the order to these stores from its warehouse.
Jiye purchases directly from farmers at reduced rates and sells it to stores at the common market pricing. The activities reduce several stakeholders in the supply chain which leads to low price unpredictability.
The firm claims to have grown more than 30 times in just five months, with a team of over 150 employees. Following the round, Jiye wants to expand to five major cities in Pakistan. Beyond Pakistan, they hope to expand into MENA in 2022 to capitalize on what they believe is a $120 billion market.
As it grows, the business aims to provide value-added services on the app like insurance and loans through an ecosystem of partnerships. Additionally, the business has aggressive ambitions to advance their aim of digitizing the farm-to-retail supply chain through fintech solutions, boosting financial inclusion and integrating the huge market to the formal financial system.
“Despite being the fifth largest population with a staggering 56 million acres of crop-able land, one of highest in the world, agriculture in Pakistan has grown at a meager 2 percent YOY in the past decade, which seems like a challenge yet an opportunity at the same time, the startup understands the great potential hidden within the sector, awaiting disruption,” a statement from the startup read.
Ali Amin, co-founder of Jiye Technologies, who also belongs to a family of agri marketplace traders, said, “We’re driven by impact; we like to bring positive change in categories which impact the masses in Pakistan, hence, we chose to fix a phenomenon that touches almost 70 percent of the country’s population.”
Issa Aghabi, managing partner at Access Bridge Ventures said, “Jiye Technologies, with its experienced team, is trying to disrupt the local farming supply chain by developing better procedures and efficiencies while catering to the demands of its stakeholders. This represents our sixth investment this year and our first in Pakistan. We have been incredibly enthusiastic about the Pakistani market and truly delighted to be part of the journey ahead.”