DealCart, a social commerce platform based in Pakistan, announced on Thursday that it had secured a $4.5 million pre-seed round of funding, which was led by Shorooq Partners and included Fatima Gobi Ventures, Vibe Capital, 500 Global, i2i Ventures, Julian Shapiro, Rally Cap Ventures, Alex Lazarow, and a number of strategic angel investors.
DealCart will use the funds to advance product development and team expansion. DealCart is a group buying platform that gives marginalized communities access to inexpensive daily necessary items in a gamified and engaging way. Having been made just four months after the firm was founded in March 2022, this investment is one of the biggest for early-stage entrepreneurs in the MENAP area.
Despite the rapid expansion of smartphone and internet use, e-commerce acceptance is still low among Pakistan’s 220 million middle- and lower-middle-class citizens, who make up the bulk of the country’s population. The fundamental justification for this is that modern e-commerce platforms largely cater to higher-income groups, providing fast commerce for high-end gadgets, designer clothing, and other items and services.
DealCart co-founders Haider Raza and Ammar Naveed are addressing this unmet e-commerce need through their “buy together and save together” model, which enables users to buy in groups and share deals on messaging services and social media. DealCart recognizes that the majority of the population values and prioritizes the affordability of daily essential products. Customers are given the opportunity to conduct bulk orders in order to unlock reduced pricing for everyone. This also offers a fresh, entertaining, and community-focused shopping experience.
Through its platform, DealCart also wants to boost the visibility and recognition of locally produced businesses across the country. The founders Ammar and Haider have a combined expertise of over six years in establishing and growing technology businesses in the Middle East and Pakistan.
Ammar was a senior director at Careem, a ride-hailing app startup, where he oversaw operations in the Middle East and Pakistan, prior to starting DealCart. In Pakistan, Haider co-founded a tourist firm in addition to launching and growing the mobility startup Swvl. Both founders are passionate about social commerce and motivated to have a good influence on the local communities.
“Pakistan has recently seen a surge in social media users, a phenomenon that typically occurs before these users engage in online commerce for their daily needs,” says Haider Raza, co-founder of DealCart. DealCart wants to take advantage of this chance to present our group buying platform in order to provide more people access to their favorite brands at really low costs. DealCart offers the already overburdened Pakistani customer much-needed respite because our target market spends upwards of 50% of their household budget on food and necessities.
DealCart co-founder Ammar Naveed continues, “From day one, our focus has been on the firm’s long-term commercial viability; we want to build a company that has strong foundations and is in line with the current realities of the global financial markets. With a very lean cost structure and a focus on technology-driven expansion and growth, that is what we want to achieve.