The price of consumer goods has skyrocketed all over the world, causing a major budget headache for many people. Social commerce startup DealCart aims to make shoppers’ lives easier, at least in Pakistan. The company announced today that it has raised $4.5 million in pre-seed funding just three months after its operational launch. The round was led by Shorooq Partners with the participation of Fatima Gobi Ventures, Vibe Capital, 500 Global, i2i Ventures, Julian Shapiro, Rally Cap Ventures, Alex Lazarow and several ‘strategic angel investors’.
DealCart, founded by Haider Raza and Ammar Naveed, aims to tackle the low use of e-commerce among the middle and lower income segments in Pakistan, even as more and more people have access to smartphones and the internet.
DealCart allows users to buy in groups and share deals via WhatsApp and other social media platforms. By participating in group purchases, consumers can unlock lower prices. Customers have the option to join existing groups or create a new one and share a link to their social media. When that number hits a threshold (usually about four people) within a 24-hour period, lower prices are unlocked.
Before launching DealCart, Naveed was senior director of a ride-hailing app Careem, overseeing operations in the Middle East and Pakistan, while Raza launched and scaled up mobility startup Swvl in Pakistan, and also worked at Careem.
The founders told TechCrunch that their past experience has given them extensive experience building and scaling startups in Pakistan and the MENA region. As inflation worsened in Pakistan, they said it became clear that their mission was to help people save money where they spend most of their income.
“Despite the burgeoning growth of smartphones and internet penetration, e-commerce use remains low in the middle and lower middle income segments that make up the majority of the country. As such, the current e-commerce landscape in the country is skewed toward big ticket electronics, fashion and the convenience offered by fast commerce, which is expensive and can largely be afforded by Pakistan’s smaller upper-income segment,” the founders said. to TechCrunch in an email: “The majority of Pakistanis are price conscious and the current e-commerce landscape is not meeting their needs.”
DealCart can offer lower prices because it sources products directly from manufacturers, works with locally sourced brands (while helping them reach a larger consumer base), and lowers customer acquisition costs through its consumer growth features. These savings allow DealCart to afford efficient storage and last-mile delivery compared to other e-commerce and quick-commerce platforms.
Items available through DealCart include cooking oil, rice, wheat, legumes, and sugar; tea and milk; fruit and vegetables; baby food and diapers; drinks; and household care products. Currently, DealCart buys inventory from manufacturers and keeps it in their warehouse. Once customer orders are confirmed, group purchase products will be delivered before 11 p.m.
Raza said DealCart’s target market already spends more than 50% of their household income on groceries and necessities, and the startup can provide them with financial assistance through lower prices.
The app uses gamification, which the founders say is “an essential feature of our product”. For example, group purchases are gamified, with users receiving regular updates on how many people are left to complete the group and the time remaining once they join a group. Users also get credits for referring new users or sharing products and deals on social media. There is also a feature that allows them to spin an online wheel for free products and app credits, and lucky draws that can only be entered if a user crosses a certain number of deals that have been shared on social media.
Other social trading platforms in Pakistan are BazaarGhar, CelebShop and Gahhak. The founders say DealCart differentiates itself by targeting consumers who typically spend about 50% to 60% of their income on groceries, and allowing them to save money on those items.
DealCart is currently in the pre-seed phase, closing last month with annual recurring revenue of $1.1 million.
The founders say the new funding will be used to build its technical and product teams, as well as DealCart’s brand. “For us, the core focus will be to grow sustainably, growing through technology rather than aggressive discounts for the customers.”
This post DealCart targets price-conscious Pakistani consumers – TechCrunch was original published at “https://techcrunch.com/2022/07/27/dealcart-is-focused-on-price-conscious-pakistani-consumers/”