Pakistan-based Fintech firm OneLoad, which aims to serve micro-retailers, has secured $11 million in order to support a growth phase as it focuses on tapping one of the world’s largest unbanked/underbanked nations.
The recent investment round has been led by Sarmayacar and Shorooq Partners, along with contributions from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Strategic Investment Fund, which is notably its first investment in Pakistan.
OneLoad’s Android app, which is used by primarily by smaller merchants/shopkeepers, is among the largest nonbank digital transaction platforms in the Asian country and currently serves millions of clients every month.
As reported by Bloomberg, it works cooperatively with banking institutions and telecom firms to provide services such as payments, cash deposits and lending.
The firm intends to become one of the largest banking platforms in Pakistan for the unbanked consumer segment, and the “financially excluded market.” This, according to Muhammad Yar Hiraj, the founder and CEO at OneLoad.
He explained that the goal is to become one of the largest micro branches for the the unbanked without maintaining any physical branch location.
OneLoad reportedly operates via its 40,000 agents and carried out around $100 million in transfers in 2021. The firm aims to increase daily transfers to about 1 million per day from the present level of around 400,000, Hiraj added.
Pakistan, which is the fifth-most populous country in the world (around 220 million residents), has made headlines due to record-levels of funding of approximately $350 million – which has been channeled towards the nation’s startup sector (in 2021).
Many new Fintech firms are establishing operations in the country, which has an unbanked population of 110 million residents. This figure is only behind China and India, World Bank data reveals.
As covered recently, Dbank, a Pakistan-based Fintech company established by two ex- Google professionals, has acquired $17.6 million via a seed round that has been co-led by Sequoia Southeast Asia and Kleiner Perkins.
Brazil’s virtual banking platform Nubank, RTP Global, Rayn and business partner Askari Bank also took part in the investment round.
Extensive details on products and launch timelines/roadmap are not available at this time, however, Dbank has applied for a virtual retail bank license in Pakistan and now aims to offer financial services to unbanked/underbanked consumers across the Pan-Islamic world.