Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Pakistani Mobility Startup Airlift Technologies Bags US$10M Series A-1

airlift technologies

Airlift Technologies also announced its new service Airlift Grocer

 

By Sharon Lewis

 

Pakistan-based transit systems startup Airlift Technologies has raised US$10 million in an extension of its Series A round, the company announced today via its official blog.

 

Airlift Technologies is an app-based ride-sharing ‘decentralized mass transit system’ that allows users to book rides aboard buses. These buses follow a fixed route, with pre-decided stops and arrival times, akin to a public transportation system.

 

The statement, written by Co-founder and CEO of Airlift Technologies Usman Gul, noted that the Series A-1 is one of the largest capital investments to have come from Pakistan this year, and brings the company’s total investment haul to $24.1 million.

 

Houston-based venture capital (VC) investor Quiet Capital led the round, with a consortium of participating investors which include European VC investors TrueSight Ventures and RT Ventures, Emirati seed-stage venture fund Shorooq Partners and Taiwanese tech venture firm ACE Capital, the statement noted.

 

Airlift Technologies’ existing backers San Francisco-based VC investor First Round Capital, Pakistani VCs Fatima Gobi Ventures and Indus Valley Capital also participated in the round, the statement said.

 

The company has paused its transit operations due to the ongoing Covid-19 global health emergency, the statement noted. While Pakistan’s lockdown was lifted on May 9, the country has seen over 100,000 new cases of Covid-19 after its lockdown ended.

 

“Given the Covid-19 threat, Airlift is committed to keeping our transit operations on pause until the situation stabilizes,” Gul said in the statement. “Our team is excited to resume transit operations once the worst of the pandemic is behind us.”

 

Following the trend of app-based mobility and delivery companies venturing into grocery delivery, the startup announced the launch of its grocery delivery services called Airlift Grocer, which promises the delivery of household items within 45 minutes.

 

The service currently provides a limited number of household essentials. Gul pointed out to MENAbytes that Airlift Grocer focuses on speedy same-day deliveries to cater to essential household needs of its users.

 

Airlift Grocer, which has been in beta-testing for a month, is operated out of the startup’s own inventory and warehouse, the report by MENAbytes noted.

 

Commenting on the pivot, Gul said in the statement, “Airlift understands that the world has changed… Our service must adapt to the changing times, providing ancillary offerings that provide additional value to customers.”

 

The startup had earlier raised $12 million in a Series A round that took place in November 2019. First Round Capital led the round, with participation from Indus Valley Capital, Fatima Ventures and Co-founder and CEO of on-demand car services provider Luxe, Curtis Lee.

 

Header image by master1305 on Freepik

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