Meet Uzbekistan’s first unicorn: e-commerce startup Uzum

Uzum, an e-commerce startup featuring on line procuring, fintech and foods deliveries to millions of consumers in Uzbekistan, has raised $114 million in funding, getting the country’s initial unicorn with a valuation of $1.16 billion.

Uzbekistan is fertile ground for startups, supplied the point that folks aged beneath 30 represent about 60% of its population of above 35 million. The country also enjoys a close to 100% literacy price (in accordance to its governing administration), much more than 76% internet penetration, and in excess of 75% smartphone penetration level. In 2020, the Central Asian country experienced just about 1,200 startups, 85% of which had been at the seed phase. Fintech startups dominated the marketplace with a 30% share, adopted by e-commerce startups at 27%, in accordance to estimates (PDF) by the Asian Enhancement Bank.

However, the region appears to be to have a shocking absence of e-commerce solutions, which might be amongst the motives why the sector accounted for only 2.2% of Uzbekistan’s total retail current market as of December 2022, for each a report (PDF) by KPMG. In accordance to Uzum’s co-founder and CEO, Djasur Djumaev, Uzbeks used to mainly store on the web through social media applications this sort of as Instagram, TikTok and Telegram. Prospects related with sellers in groups on social platforms, who had limited stock-retaining units (SKUs) and no logistics to communicate of.

“It was a shock for us to see that the penetration of smartphones was higher and telecom infrastructure was in place, but there was no e-commerce, no good fintech,” Djumaev informed TechCrunch.

Djumaev plainly observed the potential for a enterprise to do in Uzbekistan what Amazon has carried out in a lot of other countries: present a cohesive marketplace that claims conclude-to-conclusion logistics and shipping. Uzum begun by

Read More

Ontario Teachers’ fund backs Indian logistics unicorn Xpressbees in $80 million funding

Xpressbees, an Indian logistics agency that functions with many e-commerce companies in the state, has raised $80 million in a new funding round led by Ontario Teachers’ late-stage enterprise progress fund amid a surge in the country’s online buying exercise.

The Canadian pension fund has obtained a stake in the Pune-headquartered startup at about $1.4 billion valuation, the similar worth at which the startup lifted a Sequence F tranche previously. With the most up-to-date investment decision spherical, Xpressbees’ cumulative funding has reached close to $680 million. It did not share a name for the spherical, and also didn’t disclose how a lot of the new raise arrived through secondary transactions.

Xpressbees, which also counts Malaysian sovereign wealth fund Khazanah, TPG, Alibaba and Blackstone amid backers, operates with extra than 1,000 purchasers — which include fiscal and e-commerce providers huge Paytm, social commerce startup Meesho, eyewear vendor Lenskart, mobile phone maker Xiaomi and on line pharmacy NetMeds — to deliver their products and solutions across the region.

It has existence in more than 2,000 towns and cities and it procedures much more than 2.5 million orders a day. The loss-earning startup posted a income of about $300 million in the fiscal 12 months ending March. The arrival of the Canadian pension fund is indicative that Xpressbees is readying itself for an initial general public featuring inside of a 12 months to two.

Xpressbees begun its journey inside of FirstCry, an e-commerce for newborn items, in 2012. But in 2015, it turned an unbiased organization with Amitava Saha, co-founder and main functioning officer of FirstCry, shifting out of FirstCry to develop into main government of Xpressbees. Supam Maheshwari, who co-launched FirstCry and serves as its chief government, is the other co-founder of Xpressbees.

“We are fired up about the industry possibility

Read More

Why the CEO of this Seattle tech unicorn will not do business with Russian firms

Outreach CEO Manny Medina. (GeekWire File Photograph / Nat Levy)

The CEO of Seattle-based Outreach is urging more tech leaders to just take a stand against Russia and stated his startup will not do company there, as corporations across the U.S. scramble to answer to the war in Ukraine.

“Like the rest of the globe, I’ve been seeing the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine closely. I simply cannot stand silently without having having action to support the individuals of Ukraine,” explained Manny Medina in a LinkedIn write-up. “As of these days, Outreach will not be conducting organization with organizations primarily based in Russia.”

“While this is a compact motion, it is a principled a single. We will not support a govt that tries to overthrow a democratic state,” reported Medina, who has shut relatives ties to Russia. His mother is Russian and his daughter is fluent in the language.

Medina co-founded Outreach in 2014, after performing at Amazon Net Solutions and primary Microsoft’s cellular division. Outreach has extra than 4,600 shoppers and in June was valued at $4.4 billion.

Medina declined to reveal how numerous consumers Outreach has in Russia and reported his concentration is on asking what he can do for his Ukrainian prospects and their groups. “We are going to be doing work very intently with them to guarantee they are feasible businesses when this invasion is over,” he mentioned in an email to GeekWire.

Medina issued his statement as newly-unleashed sanctions hammer the Russian marketplaces and currency, and an increasing range of Western companies slash or pull again ties with Russia, which include Shell, BP, Daimler Truck and Volvo. In Latvia, organization leaders are elevating EUR 5 million to help Ukraine.

“I wish additional tech leaders will stand with Ukraine and consider more action from Russia

Read More