Pakistan's e-commerce start-up Airlift secures $85mln, eyes global expansion

Funding round said to be biggest in Pakistan's start-up community

Online shopping. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Online shopping. Image used for illustrative purpose.

Getty Images

Lahore-based Airlift has secured $85 million in what is said to be the biggest private funding round in Pakistan’s start-up community. 

The new firm started out as a bus-booking service, like Uber, and has diversified into an online shopping platform, catering to customers in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. As a mass transit business, the company recorded more than 30,000 rides a day. 

The latest Series B funding has been co-led by Harry Stebbings of 20VC and Josh Buckley of Buckley Ventures.  

It has also been participated in by Sam Altman, former president of Y Combinator, Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter and Medium; Steve Pagliuca, co-chairman of Bain Capital; Jeffrey Katzenberg, ex-chief executive of Disney and Quibi, and Taavet Hinrikus, founder and chief executive of TransferWise. 

The new capital will be used to expand Airlift’s business globally, said co-founder and CEO Usman Gul on Twitter. 

“A year ago, Airlift halted operations on the transit service, and diversified into last-mile delivery to build the rails of commerce. Today, our team closed $85 million in Series B financing to scale quick commerce across continents,” Gul said. 

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria) 

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