Investments

BridgeLinx, Pakistan-based digital freight marketplace raises $10 million in country’s largest seed

Lahore-headquartered digital freight marketplace BridgeLinx has raised $10 million in the country’s largest seed round, it announced today. The round which is also one of the largest seed rounds of the region was led by Harry Stebbings’ 20 VC, Josh Buckley’s Buckley Ventures, and Indus Valley Capital.

The startup said that the deal was oversubscribed nearly twice and includes the participation of Wavemaker Partners, Quiet Capital, TrueSight Ventures, Soma Capital, Flexport, Untitled, and some of the largest business groups of Pakistan, including Maple Leaf Capital. Several angel investors including founders of Convoy (US-based freight marketplace) and Bazaar (Pakistani B2B marketplace) also joined the round.

Founded in late 2020 by Muhammad Saad, Ahsan Tanveer, Abbas Hassan, and Salman Gul, BridgeLinx helps businesses, mainly large manufacturers and retailers, move freight by connecting them with carriers (truckers, owner-operators, transporters, and private fleets) through its online marketplace. Launched nine months ago, the startup claims to have onboarded thousands of carriers who are moving thousands of shipments every week for some of the largest shippers in Pakistan.

It didn’t share the exact numbers but said its platform is being used by the country’s largest textile groups, cement manufacturers, agro-businesses, electronics manufacturers, chemicals companies, and online marketplaces, “More than a fifth of Pakistan’s top 100 exporters actively use BridgeLinx to move freight.”

The platform offers an end-to-end solution for load execution, starting from matching to payments. Businesses can use BridgeLinx’s mobile app to book different types of vehicles to move their load. Its scheduling and routing technology matches them with the most reliable, cost-effective, and efficient transport partner, BridgeLinx notes on its website, saying that the clients can track their shipments live in the app. The platform also offers access to all shipment-related documents.

Salman Gul, co-founder and CEO of BridgeLinx, said, “With logistics averaging at 10% of GDP globally, deploying technology to optimize and create visibility across global supply chains is a trillion-dollar opportunity. At BridgeLinx, we are on a mission to redefine the way in which businesses manage supply chains – from procurement and shipping to warehousing and distribution. Our journey starts with road freight in Pakistan, and the talent-dense team we are building is incredibly privileged to be backed by some of the best investors from around the world.”

Harry Stebbings of 20VC, commented in a statement, “For me, the best investments combine incredible, category-defining entrepreneurs with macro headwinds. BridgeLinx is just that – a team of phenomenal entrepreneurs operating in a space with limitless potential.”

20VC and Buckley Ventures had recently also co-led $85 million Series B of Airlift, a Pakistani quick commerce startup. Indus Valley Capital, an early investor in the company had also participated in the deal.

Commenting on the investment in BridgeLinx, Indus Valley Capital’s Managing Partner Aatif Awan, said, “BridgeLinx has cracked the code for making end-to-end freight work in a hassle-free manner and therefore signed up some of the top businesses in Pakistan. We believe this team is well on its way to bring unprecedented efficiencies to the country’s economy and are really excited to partner with them,” said Aatif Awan, Managing Partner at Indus Valley Capital.

There are multiple well-funded international and local startups active in Pakistan’s trucking space. With this seed round, BridgeLinx has become the best-capitalized freight marketplace in the country, it said in a statement. Some regional players that have entered Pakistan over the last eighteen months have raised more money but they’re deploying that capital across multiple markets.

BridgeLinx plans to use the funds to “consolidate its position as a market leader by broadening its product stack and expanding across additional verticals, segments, and lanes.”

The story was updated with some details on Sep 14, 2021 at 6:15 AM GMT. 

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