10/16/2021

Rise of Airlift

In Pakistan, young entrepreneurs are setting new goals by establishing and developing new and unique business ventures to gain profit in the corporate world. But one must take several risks to start and manage a new venture. It is a long-time-taking process that requires dedication, commitment, and honesty.

Airlift Pakistan is a Pakistan tech start-up operating in logistics and quick commerce. It was started by local entrepreneurs and their headquarter is in Lahore, Pakistan. A Pakistani entrepreneur Usman Gul along with his small team started an Airlift transportation startup. They launched an app in 2019 as an app-based decentralized urban mass transit startup that allowed customers to book fixed-rate rides on buses and vans in their network fleet. This was a convenient and new idea. It was a big relief especially for students and working women as it was providing comfortable and secure rides at economical rates.

Gul invested 50,000 dollars in the startup. They hired 50,000 riders in Lahore in the first five months and recorded 10,000 rides per day. This was a big achievement and success. Firstly, they raised $150,000 by just proposing their idea. They raised series A-1 funding of $12 million from a USA-based company in 2019. Then in 2020, they raised series A-1 funding of $10 million from many foreign companies including Shorook partners of Abu Dhabi and RT ventures of London. However, covid struck and it hampered the efforts of the startup.

However, Airlift showed resiliency and adjusted according to the circumstances. In 2020, during covid lockdown Airlift, Pakistan launched a quick online delivery service that delivers orders in 30 minutes only at people’s doorstep. They deliver across a range of items including vegetables, fruits, electronics, household essentials, cleaning supplies, and stationery, etc. They are processing hundreds of thousands of orders each month. It is operating in Lahore, Karachi, Sialkot, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Gujranwala, and Faisalabad. They are planning to expand it more and more.

Recently they raised $85 million in its Series B financing round at a valuation of $275 million for its quick commerce startup. This is by far one of the biggest funding for any Pakistani startup. Their fundraising is equal to the entire amount raised by Pakistani startups in the first half of the year. Gul plans to expand its service to many international markets probably in Bangladesh and Nigeria. Team Pakizine tried to get in touch with Gul to know more about his resiliency and flexibility, but he was not available to comment.

Anyways, we wish Usman Gul and his team the best of luck and hope Airlift continues to rise the entrepreneurship ladder.