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SnappRetail helps Pakistani grocers compete with supermarkets • Technology Flow

A grocery store owner with one of SnappRetail's point-of-sale devices

A grocery store owner with one of SnappRetail’s point-of-sale devices

The number of global retailers, department stores and supermarkets operating in Pakistan is increasing, which brings convenience to consumers, but trouble to grocers or small general stores. According to a State Bank of Pakistan report, the growth of general stores will slow as large retail outlets continue to expand their networks, especially in urban centers.

One of the reasons grocery stores struggle to compete is that many still run on pen and paper systems. Karachi-based SnappRetail wants to help them digitize all their operations, while also offering micro-loans. The Karachi-based company today announced that it has raised a $2.5 million pre-seed funding round led by Zain Capital’s Bitrate Fund in partnership with Antler and Century Oak Capital.

The funds will be used for product development, hiring and expansion of SnappRetail to 1,000 customers with an aim to cover 13 cities by the end of 2024. The startup’s CEO, Adeel Rasheed, told Technology Flow that there are 900,000 grocery retailers in Pakistan and it is targeting 300,000 retailers that contribute 50% of the grocery transaction volume.

SnappRetail’s products include point-of-sale (POS) devices and an end-to-end operations platform (for inventory management, stock ordering and analytics), which it says will help smaller retailers compete with larger ones. The platform allows them to accept digital and card payments and access micro credit for working capital.

SnappRetail was founded in 2021 by Rashid, Mojam Ali Khan, Ahsan Aziz and Moiz Ali. The team’s first startup was a retail recruitment consultancy called ResourceLinked, which helped over 100,000 retailers hire employees. Rashid and Khan’s previous experience includes time working at consumer giants such as Unilever and L’Oreal.

Rashid told Technology Flow that the team’s background in the retail sector led them to launch Snapretail, as they saw many transactions running on manual systems and lacking bank accounts.

“What this essentially does is, these store owners miss a huge opportunity to use technology to get insights from sales data and make predictions, improve financial management, manage inventory better, and the list goes on,” he said. .

SnappRetail monetizes its customers by charging a monthly retail fee. It also sells retail sales data to large consumer goods manufacturers. Rashid said that as the company signs up more retailers, it will open more monetization channels through partnerships for products such as working capital loans, B2B aggregation and card payments.

Bazaar, another startup digitizing retail in Pakistan, announced a $70 million round earlier this year. When asked how SnappRetail differs from Bazaar, Rashid said “Bazaar is an app-based B2B platform. On the other hand, we are running a hardware-hosted micro-enterprise system in the shop that helps the retailer digitize their core store operations. SnappRetail is like Square in USA but for grocery retail segment and like Jiomart in India.

In a statement, Faisal Aftab, Co-Founder and General Partner, Zain Bitrate Fund, said, “Being a globally proven concept, there is no doubt that SnappRetail has the right approach to solve a retailer’s critical problem. We are particularly impressed with the experience and maturity this founding team brings to the table, striking the right balance between managing hypergrowth and burn.

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