Karachi-based B2B e-commerce marketplace Bazaar has launched Easy Khata, a new mobile app that helps retailers manage their ledger and accounting. The app, launched a little over a month ago, has already brought on board over 100,000 active merchants from 400 cities and towns in Pakistan. Within days of its launch, Easy Khata went viral, consistently trending on Google Play, the company’s co-founder Hamza Jawaid told MENAbytes.
Bazaar’s main product is its e-commerce app that enables grocery retailers to procure inventory for their stores. Started less than a year ago, the startup has raised about USD 8 million to date, including USD 6.5 million in what was Pakistan’s largest seed round, earlier this year. The company said that it is already working with some of the largest FMCG companies in the country and has served thousands of retailers in Karachi.
Speaking about why they decided to launch a digital ledger app, Bazaar’s co-founder Saad Jangda stated that the move is part of the company’s mission to become Pakistan’s primary operating system for retail. “Traditional retail in Pakistan still has not seen technology play a major role in the value chain. However, with the launch of Bazaar, we saw astonishing digital adoption of our commerce app, which reinforced our belief to introduce even more digital products, including accounting, payments, lending, and commerce as part of one digital stack.”
The Easy Khata app comes with online backups, three free daily SMS reminders to customers, PDF reports, and a few other simple features to create a seamless process of recording transactions and reminding customers of their dues.
The Karachi-headquartered startup is not the first player in Pakistan to have launched a digital ledger app for retailers. The concept—pioneered by India’s Khatabook, which raised over USD 110 million—was brought to Pakistan by the likes of DigiKhata, CreditBook, and Udhaar. All three of them were in the space way long before Bazaar, but they’ve built companies around the digital ledger app and will potentially introduce fintech offerings (including credit) in the future.
Bazaar followed a completely different path to get here. It first launched its e-commerce marketplace and then, listening to the feedback of its retailers, decided to launch a digital ledger app. The move makes them the only player in the space to offer both these services to merchants. Easy Khata, the startup said, is one of the many products they plan to roll out for the country’s retailers. “We believe that speed has always been our key strength as we strive to serve this massive space. With 40 employees and growing product, engineering, and design teams, we are accelerating on our journey to digitize and serve small businesses across Pakistan through one single offering.”
With over 100,000 active users, Easy Khata will also serve as a nearly free channel for Bazaar to acquire new customers for its B2B e-commerce marketplace. Bazaar said it currently serves 17,000 merchants in Karachi. The startup is looking to expand to other cities in Pakistan in the next few months.
“With Easy Khata, we have already developed a large user base in most cities and a strong national brand for the local retail segment,” added the startup’s co-founders.
This article was first published by MENAbytes.