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Saturday, October 1, 2022

Airlift raises $85 million Series B for international expansion of its quick commerce platform

Pakistani mobility startup Airlift has raised $85 million in series B round to expand its quick commerce service internationally after successful operation in eight cities including Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad in Pakistan.

The round is also the largest Series B raised by a startup in the Middle East, North Africa & Pakistan, and includes some high-profile investors.

Back in July last year, the Lahore-headquartered quick commerce startup raised $10 million in Series A-1 round from new and existing investors after closing on the country’s largest Series A funding of $12 million.

Harry Stebbings of 20VC and Josh Buckley of Buckley Ventures co-led the financing round, in which 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 also participated.

The new round brings the startup’s to-date raise to $110 million.

In a statement, the firm’s co-founder and CEO Usman Gul said, “With this financing, we must return to where we started from — fighting against the odds and staying true to our core values of hustle, teamwork, resourcefulness, and bias to action. If this is the journey of a thousand miles, we have taken only the first step.”

Josh Buckley, who co-led the round, in a statement, said, “The best operators in the space are backing Airlift, in large part due to the track record of the team and the company’s focus on Asia and Africa — for this model, developing markets will get to profitability much faster than similar companies in developed markets.”

Sam Altman, commenting on the investment, said, “Airlift’s early traction in Pakistan is a window into the future for how quick commerce will play out in the developing world.

Harry Stebbings, said, “When I first met Usman, I knew this was an entrepreneur who was going to create an industry-defining company. Humble, ambitious, and strategic, Usman will be one of the great founders of this generation.”

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