Today, Airlift is announcing an $85 Million Series B financing led by some of the most iconic investors on the globe. Airlift’s $85m Series B financing marks the largest in the MENA region, co-led by Josh Buckley (Buckley Ventures) and Harry Stebbings (20VC). Other major participants included Sam Altman (ex-President YCombinator), Biz Stone (Co-founder at Twitter / Medium), Jeffrey Katzenberg (ex-CEO, Disney), Taavet Hinrikus (Founder/CEO at TransferWise), and Seve Pagliuca (Co-Chairman, Bain Capital).
Airlift Technologies, a pioneer in the recent wave of technology businesses, was started in Pakistan, built by local entrepreneurs and for local populations. The financing is about twice the size of the largest private company IPO in Pakistan’s history and the highest in the MENA region, bringing a number of implications for the country:
A new dawn for Pakistan
Airlift has set a new precedent that will bring world-class investors to invest in Pakistan. It will garner confidence that great technology and consumer products can be built in Pakistan, and that this region of the world has some of the best talents. Airlift Express alone with its series B funding of $85 Million has added 5% to Pakistan’s FDI for the Fiscal year 2021. This financing round lays the foundations of a new dawn in Pakistan where technology startups alone can contribute to more than 10% of FDI in the upcoming years.
The team at Airlift is on a mission to enable self-empowerment in the region by reducing individual dependency on others through safe, reliable, and affordable logistics solutions. Airlift is building a platform for consumers, drivers, and small business owners to move consumer goods. With an agile supply chain, Airlift is best positioned to succeed and eventually create thousands of jobs within Pakistan. Airlift is on a mission to create 200,000 jobs in Pakistan within the next five years.
Pakistan’s diverse talent base puts Pakistan on the global map
The team at Airlift is a true representation of the potential that resides within the country. The team is an embodiment of relentlessness, hustle, and extreme ownership, which has built one of Pakistan’s largest technology companies. This financing puts Pakistan on the global roadmap for technology entrepreneurship.
Usman Gul, Co-Founder and CEO of Airlift said, “A year ago, Airlift halted operations on the transit service and diversified into last-mile grocery delivery. Today, our team closed $85m in Series B financing to scale our delivery platform across continents. With this financing, we as Pakistanis must return to where we started from — fighting against the odds and staying true to our core values of hustle, teamwork, resourcefulness, and bias to action. If this is the journey of a thousand miles, we have taken only the first step.”
With the Series B funding, Airlift today, as a Pakistani-born startup is committed more than ever to revolutionize the retail industry by leveraging technology, and empower millions of people!
Arsalan Ahmad is a Research Engineer working on 2-D Materials, graduated from the Institute of Advanced Materials, Bahaudin Zakariya University Multan, Pakistan.