Airlift closed in August 2019, only after 5 months of operations, a significant $2.2 million round of seed financing. Only two months apart, the 11-month startup brought Pakistan’s largest Series A round to a level of $12 million in investment by leading investors.
But Airlift has been able to keep up with its legacy of raising eye popping – by Pakistani standards – investments. It did so again today with the announcement of a $10 million Series A1 round to scale its grocery delivery operations – a pivot, rather a need, in the times of pandemic.
“Today, Airlift is announcing our $10m Series A-1 financing round led by new partners and with strong participation from existing investors, increasing our total investment to date to $24.1 million,” Airlift said in a statement.
The round was led by San Francisco-based Quiet Capital, with London-based TrueSight Ventures and RT Ventures, Shorooq Partners of Abu Dhabi and Taiwan’s ACE Capital participating in the round among other local partners.
“Airlift’s financing round marks one of the largest capital investments in the region, at a time when the risk of a global recession is at an all-time high. The investment marks a new high for the Pakistani startup ecosystem, highlighting the unique opportunity that is prevalent in the region,” the company statement read.
When COVID hit, almost all the known startups moved into grocery delivery because groceries are household essentials and with lockdown in place, it made perfect sense. Foodpanda, Cheetay, Uber – startups that had logistics as their core business, ventured into grocer delivery with different models – mostly dropshipping.
In dropshipping, startups would take grocery orders online, buy it from a retailer and deliver it to consumers. An example would be Cheetay. And these models were adopted almost immediately.
Airlift’s service is currently available in Lahore only where it has its own fulfilment centres.
Great news for Pakistan and Punjab. Our very own startup "Airlift" has secured 10 Million USD in Series A-1 financing from abroad. Its a big win Pak and start-up ecosystem especially in these tough times.#InvestinPunjab #InvestinPakistan https://t.co/NTyehJewWn via @Profitpk— Mian Aslam Iqbal (@MMAslamIqbal) July 1, 2020