MandiExpress, the leading online fresh produce and grocery delivery service across Pakistan announced that it has closed a $725,000 Pre-Series A funding round for scaling across Pakistan.
The funding round was directed by Lakson Investments Venture Capital (LIVC) which is a leading technology focused Institutional VC fund regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). Disrupt.com (Disrupt), a private investor, followed-on in this round and has been supporting MandiExpress since the seed stage.
MandiExpress has a data-driven approach to fulfilment of B2B and B2C consumer orders. The company has documented the value-chain at the Karachi ‘Sabzi Mandi” by using vertically integrated technology platform that autonomously gathers price data for its buyers located at daily auctions. This allows MandiExpress to buy the highest grade produce at the lowest prices through real-time price discovery for customer orders received the night before.
MandiExpress plans with the new funding to scale its successful model to fresh produce auctions, locally referred to as ‘Sabzi Mandis’ across the country.
Founder & CEO of MandiExpress Jehanzeb Chaudhri said “I started this venture five years ago to create a platform with a vision help local farmers, having learnt about the problems they faced. The task seemed almost impossible at the time, but today we are deeply integrated with the supply chain at multiple wholesale markets across Pakistan, gradually digitising the entire value-chain. The capital injection will allow MandiExpress to seamlessly fulfil the demand pressure that we have seen through our partnerships with various ecommerce players including Daraz.pk”.
CEO of Lakson Investments Babar Lakhani said “MandiExpress sparked our interest when my in-laws gifted my father cherries that he thought were imported due to the high quality, taste and packaging. After inquiring on the source, we learned of the company and reached out to the founder. Jehanzeb’s team has brought efficiency to a fragmented farm-to-table value-chain, and I truly believe that MandiExpress is the first company in Pakistan to allow users to make a choice when it comes to sourcing produce from ethical and sustainable farms”.
According to Abdul Rafay Gadit, partner at Disrupt.com, “We’ve backed MandiExpress right from the start as we saw great potential in the idea. We followed-on because we saw how the founder dealt with the issues that he faced and continued on with grit and tenacity fighting all odds. His technology background, passion for agriculture and execution ability will Inshallah elevate MandiExpress into the platform for all agriculture related trade in Pakistan,”
Mandiexpress has warehouses at the Sabzi Mandi where it purchases, sorts, grades and custom-packages high quality produce from farmers and auctions, for delivery to its online customers. The company is leveraging a sourcing practice called ‘Just In Time’ that minimises waste from an industry average of 40% to less than 1%, reducing the lead time between farm-to-table from 1 to 5 days to less than 24 hours.