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SnappRetail helps Pakistani kiryanas compete with supermarkets • TechCrunch


A kiryana owner with one of SnappRetail’s POS devices

The number of global retailers, department stores and supermarkets operating in Pakistan is increasing, which means convenience for consumers, but troubles for kiryanas, or small general stores. According to a report by the State Bank of Pakistan, the growth of general stores will slow down, especially in urban centers, as large retail stores continue to expand their networks.

One of the reasons kiryanas struggle to compete is that many still operate on pen and paper systems. Karachi-based SnappRetail wants to help them digitize all their operations, while providing them with micro-loans. The Karachi-based company announced today that it has raised $2.5 million in pre-seed funding led by Zayn Capital’s BitRate Fund with participation from Antler and Century Oak Capital.

The funding will be used for product development, hiring and expanding SnappRetail to 1,000 customers, with the goal of covering 13 cities by the end of 2024. The startup’s CEO, Adeel Rasheed, said to TechCrunch that there are 900,000 grocery retailers in Pakistan and that’s targeting 300,000 retailers who contribute 50% of grocery transaction volume.

SnappRetail’s products include point-of-sale (POS) devices and an end-to-end operations platform (for inventory management, inventory ordering, and analytics) that it says helps small businesses retailers to compete with the big ones. The platform also allows them to accept digital and card payments, and access microcredit for their working capital.

SnappRetail was founded in 2021 by Rasheed, Moazzam Ali Khan, Ahsan Aziz and Moiz Ali. The team’s first startup was a recruitment consultancy called Resource Linked that has helped 100,000 retailers hire employees. Rasheed and Khan’s previous experience includes time spent working at consumer giants like Unilever and L’Oreal.

Rasheed told TechCrunch that the team’s experience in the retail industry led them to launch SnappRetail because they saw that many kiryanas run on manual systems and don’t have bank accounts.

“What this essentially does is it makes these store owners miss a great opportunity to use technology to gain sales data insights and create forecasts, improve financial management, better manage inventory and the list goes on and on,” he said. .

SnappRetail monetizes by charging monthly referral fees to its customers. It also sells retail sales data to major consumer goods manufacturers. Rasheed said as the company engages more retailers, it will launch more monetization channels through partnerships for products such as working capital loans, B2B aggregation and card payments. .

Another startup digitizing retail in Pakistan is Bazaar, which announced a $70 million raise earlier this year. When asked how SnappRetail differs from Bazaar, Rasheed said, “Bazaar is an app-based B2B platform. On our end, we are deploying a hardware-hosted micro-enterprise system in the store that helps the retailer digitize their core store operations. SnappRetail is more like Square in the US but for the grocery retail segment and more like Jiomart in India.

In a statement, Zayn BitRate Fund Co-Founder and General Partner Faisal Aftab said, “As a globally proven concept, there is no doubt that SnappRetail has the right approach to solving the core problem of retailer. We were particularly impressed with the experience and maturity this founding team brings to the table, striking the right balance between hypergrowth and burn management.

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