Pakistani e-commerce platform PriceOye.pk has raised $7.9 million in a seed funding round led by US-based JAM Fund, it emerged on Tuesday.
It also brought a number of unicorn founders to its cap table, most notably Peter Thiel who founded PayPal and Palantir Technologies — making it his first investment in Pakistan.
Beenext, an early investor in Indonesian e-commerce platform Tokopedia, DG Daiwa, Mantis VC, HOF Capital, Jet.com’s investor Palm Drive Capital, Atlas Ventures, Immad Akhud of Mercury Bank and Asif Keshodia of Souq also participated in the seed funding round, in addition to previous investors Fatima Gobi Ventures, SOSV, and Artistic Ventures.
“PriceOye is a managed marketplace for electronics, with recommendations based on the consumer’s requirements, helping them make informed purchasing decisions. The product recommendation engine is used by visitors for product research and has been one of the important drivers of bringing over two million monthly users to PriceOye.pk’s platform,” a press statement said.
The startup, founded by Adnan Shaffi and Adeel Shaffi, claims to have achieved 500 per cent revenue growth year-on-year and plans to continue on this trajectory by adding new products and categories on the platform as well as expanding its partner network.
“Some of the biggest problems with shopping for consumer electronics in Pakistan is the presence of counterfeit products and price discrepancies which result in a fractured buying experience for a majority of Pakistani shoppers. PriceOye’s managed marketplace not only gives access to authentic products at great prices but also helps consumers make better shopping decisions through its recommendations system,” Adnan Shaffi, co-founder and CEO of PriceOye, was quoted as saying in the statement.
“PriceOye was hence designed to bring transparency and convenience to the shopping experience and has the highest net promoter score, which measures customer experience and loyalty. As we plan for the next phase of our growth, we are excited to partner with new investors who have placed their trust in us,” he added.
Mantis VC founder and partner Alex Pall added, “Within a short period of time, PriceOye has grown exponentially and has cemented its position as the leading national company in online consumer electronics. We are excited to join PriceOye in its mission towards changing the way people shop in Pakistan.”
Commenting on the investment, Seamon Chan, managing partner of Palm Drive Capital, which has backed e-commerce unicorn Jet.com, stated, “It’s always a difficult choice for consumers to spend big amounts of money on high-value products while being unsure about their authenticity. I was inspired by the vision of PriceOye founders Adnan and Adeel of creating transparency and bringing convenience to customers when it comes to shopping for consumer electronics.”
According to the press statement, there is currently no national chain in Pakistan like BestBuy in the US or Croma in India, which are specialised electronics stores. “About 50pc of consumer electronics are sold online in the US, whereas in the Pakistani market, which is mostly offline, the shopping experience for customers is completely fragmented.”
Pakistan’s consumer electronics market had an estimated spend of $8.5 billion in 2020 and has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1pc between 2016 and 2020, it added.