A Pakistani Startup, which has taken inspiration from China’s JD.com has managed to raise seed funding from scores of investors including the PayPal founder Peter Thiel. Securing a funding of $7.9 million, PriceOye has managed to consolidate its position as the leading electronics marketplace in the country. This is Peter Thiel’s first investment to name in Pakistan.
The round was led by US-based JAM Fund while additional investors amongst many included Beenext, Tokopedia, DG Daiwa, Mantis VC, HOF Capital, Jet.com’s investor Palm Drive Capital, and Atlas Ventures. Additionally, notable unicorn founders Peter Thiel, Mercury Bank’s Immad Akhud, and Asif Keshodia of Souq also participated in the round. As for the former investors, PriceOye raised $450,000 in pre-seed funding from Fatima Gobi Ventures, SOSV, and Artistic Ventures.
What is PriceOye?
PriceOye, a startup based out of the National Science and Technology Park (NSTP) at NUST, is a marketplace for authentic and original consumer electronics available at the best prices. Removing counterfeits, creating trust and helping customers making better purchase decisions by providing comprehensive product information and product reviews is what the company knows best.
The product recommendation engine is used by visitors for product research and has been one of the most important drivers of bringing over 2 million monthly users to PriceOye’s platform. The company has developed a proprietary product recommendation engine that asks simple questions for each category and recommends products based on the responses. For example, if you are purchasing a smartphone, you’ll be asked a few simple questions like your price range, your current phone, and what features are important for you. Based on the answers, the product that best fits your criteria will be recommended by Priceoye, thus improving the way people shop for electronics.
PriceOye.pk has grown exponentially, posting 500% revenue growth year-on-year, making it one of the leading B2C ecommerce players in the country. With the new funding, Priceoye is poised to continue on its growth trajectory, adding new products and categories on the platform, and expanding its network of partners.
In the words of Adnan Shaffi, CEO and co-founder PriceOye, ‘Some of the biggest problems with shopping for consumer electronics in Pakistan is the presence of counterfeit products and price discrepancies which result in a fractured buying experience for a majority of Pakistani shoppers. PriceOye’s managed marketplace not only gives access to authentic products at great prices but also helps consumers make better shopping decisions through its recommendation system.’ Adeel Shaffi, the other brother and co-founder here added that ‘Priceoye was hence designed to bring transparency and convenience to the shopping experience and has the highest net promoter score, which measures customer experience and loyalty. As we plan for the next phase of our growth, we are excited to partner with new investors who have placed their trust in us.’
What Venture Capitalists have to say about PriceOye?
Managing partner of Palm Drive Capital Seamon Chan while talking about the investment said that it always is difficult for consumers to spend tonnes of money on high-value products, all the while being unsure about the authenticity. He added ‘I was inspired by the vision of PriceOye founders Adnan and Adeel of creating transparency and bringing convenience to customers when it comes to shopping for consumer electronics. We are excited to back them as they steer PriceOye towards a new phase of growth.’
Mantis VC founder and partner Alex Pall had to say that PriceOye within a short period of time has managed to grow exponentially and cement its position in the online world of consumers when it comes to electronics. ‘We are excited to join PriceOye in its mission towards changing the way people shop in Pakistan’, he added.
The Consumer Market in Pakistan
Pakistan’s consumer electronics market had an estimated spend of $8.5 billion in 2022 and has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 7.1% between 2016 and 2020. The growth of the consumer electronics market has resulted in the influx of subpar counterfeit products. PriceOye whereas is a managed marketplace, where consumers can discover and buy authentic consumer electronic products, which are then delivered to them respectively. About 50% of consumer electronics are sold online in the US, whereas in the Pakistani market, which is mostly offline, the shopping experience for customers is completely fragmented.
The startup claims to have 30% repeat users out of its entire customer base, who happen to regularly visit the platform to purchase electronic goods. It further also claims to sell four smartphones to a single user per year on average. CEO Adnan Shaffi also added ‘This is the largest online platform for selling mobile phones and accessories in Pakistan, with 35% of the overall orders coming from tier-two and tier-three cities of the country.’
Hub of innovation and home to startups, Pakistan’s first National Science and Technology Park is situated at NUST. With many like the aforementioned sort blooming out of the ecosystem, NSTP is proud to be the hosting ground for many top marketplaces in the country and also for many international businesses. Pro-Rector RIC NUST University and Vice President Dr. Rizwan Riaz added that ‘NSTP is the nourishing space for many of the winners of tomorrow. With funding as such flowing into the country, it provides the confidence to young innovators as well as aspiring entrepreneurs to pursue their cases as well and mark their names out there.’