Pakistan-based Fintech startup Trukkr announced on Tuesday that it raised $6.4 million in seed funding and secured a non-banking financial company (NBFC) license.
The funding round was led by Accion Venture Lab and UK-based Sturgeon Capital, with support from angel investor Peter Findley, US-based Haitou Global and Bahrain-based Al Zayani Venture Capital. Trukkr previously raised $600,000 in seed funding in 2021 and has also raised debt and undertaken a pre-seed round in previous years.
The company, which originally began as a marketplace connecting shippers with transporters, has now shifted its focus to lending for truckers. Trukkr’s business model is similar to Kargo in Indonesia, Solvento in Mexico and Kobo 360 in Africa, but has been adapted to the local market.
“It is very early in Pakistan for a marketplace model,” says Sheryar Bawany, co-founder and CEO of Trukkr. “The biggest problem that we saw in connecting shippers with transporters was that transporters did not have money to do the trips.”
The startup has also secured a non-banking financial institution license from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan, which will enable it to offer lending products to truckers. Trukkr is also partnering with banks to expand its services and plans to raise a larger Series-A round later this year. The recent seed funding will be used to support the startup’s lending and expansion plans.
Bawany said that the startup was looking to launch financial products at a “reasonable risk-adjusted spread” to the benchmark Karachi Interbank Offered Rate (KIBOR).
About the Trukkr
Co-founded by Sheryar Bawany, Mishal Adamjee, Haji Ali, Waqas Khatri, and Kasra Zunnaiyer in 2019, Trukkr offers small and medium-sized trucking companies a transport management system and supply chain solutions. Known for digitizing the largely unbanked and undocumented trucking industry, the company has signed up over 20,000 trucking companies in 2022, demonstrating the potential market demand for its services.
Industry experts have praised the startup’s unique origination and underwriting model, which has enabled it to grow in emerging markets. This startup is primarily addressing a gap in the market by using logistics data to underwrite loans for trucking companies that previously struggled to access financial services.
According to the company’s data, under 5% of trucking companies using the Trukkr platform have access to financial services, which has left them unable to cover expenses such as fuel, tolls and truck maintenance.