Pakistan’s startup ecosystem showed remarkable growth when it recorded venture capital funding of around $350 million in 2021. Things got off to a healthy start in 2022 with Q1 funding at $143 million. The situation was looking promising for the rest of the year until an unprecedented global economic crisis forced its most valuable startup Airlift to shut down. While this situation sent shockwaves of panic across the local startup scene, encouraging news has come from Karachi as Oware Technologies marks its first year with positive growth.
Founded by Raza Kazmi and Adil Nisar, Oware is a logistics tech startup that aims to revolutionize Pakistan’s supply chain and logistics industry. Its integrated solutions & services enable smart warehousing, intelligent distribution, and fulfilment with transparency that help businesses achieve better logistics flexibility and minimize capital costs.
Starting on the right foot
Established last year in June 2021, Oware began with renting a single 4,500 square feet warehouse in Karachi. After their services were received well in the commercial capital of Pakistan, they expanded to Lahore, Islamabad, and Multan. In doing so, they have created a network of warehouses in strategic locations across Pakistan with further expansions in the pipeline.
Earlier in April, Oware secured $3.3 million in pre-seed funding from global investors. Today, its team of over 300 professionals is working to offer a whole suite of smart logistics solutions & services consisting of:
15 warehouses across 4 major cities (Karachi, Lahore, Multan, and Islamabad) offering over 380,000 square feet of rental space, giving businesses the option to lease the required space in either of these facilities rather than investing in their own warehousing space.
Distribution service for transportation of goods from a warehouse to customers such as retailers and fulfilment centres based on their orders.
An integrated cloud-based Customer Portal that provides businesses with intuitive dashboards to enable real-time visibility into inventory levels and shipments. A technology-enabled Internal Ops team provides 24/7 support to the on-ground staff, has complete fleet visibility, and tracks warehouse operations – all in real time.
Driving the industry forward
Pakistan’s B2B logistics industry is crippled with outdated systems that are hindering growth for businesses at large. Not only are they struggling to acquire additional warehousing capacity to store inventory, but also facing difficulty monitoring that inventory, which is making way for more complex distribution issues. And while this problem can be countered with modern systems, only the large multinationals have access to such sophisticated systems.
With Oware, the team wants to level the playing field for Pakistani businesses with a solution that’s cutting-edge, accessible, and affordable. This, they believe, will not only usher in a new era of resilience for Pakistan’s logistics industry, but pave the way for the country’s sustainable economic growth.
According to Adil Nisar, supply chain digitization was already well underway before COVID-19 struck, but the pandemic and its attendant disruptions have rapidly accelerated the process. “It did so because crisis-hit organisations realised that building resilience and agility in their supply chains was a matter of urgency; indeed, the war in Ukraine has only served to stoke the coals of this reality. Integrated supply chain solutions like ours will provide businesses with data-driven visibility to help them predict disruption and plan around it,” he added.
A vision driven by innovation
Scoring remarkable achievements within its first year, Oware has exhibited the potential to be recognized among the key players in Pakistan’s startup scene in the coming times. The company’s leadership plans to use its recent funding to invest in developing its robust product & service portfolio, bolster its innovative capabilities with the right talent, and scale to newer geographies to achieve its vision of simplified yet resilient supply chains across and beyond Pakistan.
Celebrating Oware’s first anniversary, Raza Kazmi said, “This is just the beginning. We are on a mission of empowering thousands of businesses to grow to the next level through flexible warehousing and intelligent distribution which will ensure faster and more affordable delivery of goods.”
“The current scenario makes us more ambitious and we still plan to pursue the insight, process, and curiosity that keep us inspired and steadfast on our goal of empowering businesses to grow by building the operating software for distribution,” an optimistic Adil Nisar added.