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Digital freight marketplace BridgeLinx raises $10 million in Pakistan’s largest seed funding

BridgeLinx, a 9-month-old Lahore-headquartered startup that operates a digital freight marketplace, said on Tuesday it has raised $10 million in what is the largest seed financing round in Pakistan.

Harry Stebbings’ 20 VC, Josh Buckley’s Buckley Ventures and Indus Valley Capital co-led the startup’s financing round, which Salman Gul, co-founder and chief executive of BridgeLinx, told TechCrunch completed within weeks.

This is 20 VC and Buckley Ventures’ second lead investment in Pakistan in recent weeks following an $85 million round in quick-commerce startup Airlift. Indus Valley Capital, which recently also backed business-to-business marketplace Bazaar, has invested in all three of the recent high-profile investments in the South Asian country.

Wavemaker Partners, Quiet Capital, TrueSight Ventures, Soma Capital, Flexport, Magnus Rausing’s UNTITLED and founders of Convoy and Bazaar also participated in the round.

BridgeLinx is building an asset-lite digital freight marketplace. The platform connects shippers — such as manufacturing companies, cement factories, textile companies — with truckers and private fleets.

The platform provides its tech solutions to ensure proper documents validation on both ends, timely pickups, port operations and safety of cargo, said Gul, who previously worked at consultancy firm KPMG in Canada.

BridgeLinx has already onboarded thousands of carriers and is moving thousands of freight-loads each week for many large customers, he said.

As is true in India, Pakistan’s trucking system has a big inefficiency problem that continues to drag the economy. One of the biggest problems faced by truckers is that they are unable to find any use of their trucks once they have made a delivery. So a truck delivering something to Karachi from Lahore is likely to return empty, which wastes both time and money.

Startups like BridgeLinx are attempting to find ways to make this system more efficient. Gul said he has studied how Convoy, and India’s BlackBuck and Rivigo have expanded their businesses.

He said like BlackBuck BridgeLinx is operating on an asset-lite model. But he plans to replicate some of Rivigo’s learnings — that is to use their own trucks to ensure that the vehicle can operate round the clock by having multiple drivers working in shifts.

“We will eventually have a hybrid of what BlackBuck and Rivigo offer,” he said.

Gul said BridgeLinx will deploy the fresh capital to expand to more verticals and broaden its tech offerings. The startup is also working on hiring more talent, he said.

“BridgeLinx has cracked the code for making end-to-end freight work in a hassle free manner and therefore signed up some of the top businesses in Pakistan. We believe this team is well on its way to bring unprecedented efficiencies to the country’s economy and are really excited to partner with them,” said Aatif Awan, Managing Partner at Indus Valley Capital, in a statement.

This is a developing story. More to follow…

source: TechCrunch