14 Jun 2022
VEON Ventures Makes $15m Series A Investment in Dastgyr
Deal expands VEON’s investments in Pakistan’s digital economy
June 14, 2022 – VEON Ltd. (NASDAQ: VEON, Euronext Amsterdam: VEON), a global digital operator that provides mobile connectivity and services, announces today that the Group’s VEON Ventures division has completed a US$ 15 million investment as part of a Series A round for Dastgyr, a Pakistan-based B2B ecommerce marketplace platform. This investment will contribute towards boosting Pakistan’s e-commerce market. Dastgyr offers businesses a one-stop-shop application that connects thousands of retailers with suppliers to give them access to real-time visibility on pricing and financing rates. Platform partners have included Coca-Cola, Nestle, and Reckitt.
“As part of VEON's transformation into a digital operator that delivers a growing range of services to our customers we are investing in leading digital companies like Dastgyr in the countries where we operate. These investments are the building blocks of the digital ecosystem that will enable us to deliver on our strategy,” said Mohd Khairil Abdullah, CEO of VEON Ventures. “Pakistan, with its rapidly growing digital sector, is a key market for VEON. By bringing together Dagstyr's e-commerce business with Jazz's communications network and JazzCash's mobile payments platform, we will catalyse growth in digital services in Pakistan. This would be further enhanced by the digital banking services that we have ambitions to provide.” The deal is VEON Ventures’ largest investment in a Pakistani start-up and reflects the Group’s continued commitment to the region and to the growth of Pakistan’s digital economy. “Pakistan’s start-up ecosystem is at a critical juncture and only startups focused on addressing key challenges and adopting localized solutions will survive and thrive,” added Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz. “This investment highlights VEON’s commitment to scaling up Pakistan’s digital economy and provides Dastgyr with a platform to build synergies with Jazz’s subscriber base of 75 million and with JazzCash, further integrating the startup into Pakistan’s fintech ecosystem.” Dastgyr will remain an independent entity, with a minority position being taken by VEON Ventures. The new investment round will support Dastgyr’s expansion into 15 new cities in Pakistan, alongside its existing network in Karachi, Lahore, Sialkot and Gujranwala.
“We are thrilled to achieve this milestone in the current global economic environment,” said Zohaib Ali, co-founder of Dastgyr. “We welcome the new investors to the Dastgyr family as we continue to work relentlessly toward our vision of building an AliBaba for emerging markets worldwide. We’re lucky to have found strategic partners who believe in our mission and have displayed unwavering faith in our team. Financial inclusion, which is central to the startup’s mission, will uplift and enable Pakistan’s small- and medium-sized retail entrepreneurs, potentially unlocking up to an additional US$ 10 billion for the country’s GDP, according to our estimates.” VEON Ventures’ investment in Dastgyr Series A funding was made alongside Zinal Growth, DEG, Khwarizmi Ventures, OTF Jasoor Ventures, Cedar Mundi Ventures, Reflect Ventures, Century Oak Capital, Haitou Global, GoingVC, Astir Ventures, K3 Diversity Ventures, Chandaria Capital, along with the founders of Property Finder, Ayoconnect, Quiqup and senior management from DoorDash.
VEON is a NASDAQ- and Euronext Amsterdam–listed a global digital operator that provides mobile connectivity and service serving nine countries that together are home to 9% of the world’s population. Our companies are transforming lifestyles through technology-driven services that empower opportunity in some of the world’s fastest-growing emerging markets. For more information, visit: https://www.veon.com
This release contains “forward-looking statements,” as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements are not historical facts, and include statements relating to, among other things, VEON’s investments in Pakistan and VEON Ventures’ strategy. Forward-looking statements are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties, many of which VEON cannot predict with accuracy and some of which VEON might not even anticipate. The forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of the date of this release. VEON does not undertake to publicly update, except as required by U.S. federal securities laws, any forward-looking statement to reflect events or circumstances after such dates or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.