Online retailer Well announced today that it has secured “close to US$1 million” in a seed funding round. The deal was led by angel investors Nadeem Hussain and Noor Abid. Valuation figures were not made public.
Well has been quietly dominating its niche in Pakistan, building a strong base of loyal customers, and gradually increasing its range of products for sustained growth.
It started off by selling things like fitness supplements, vitamins, and herbal products but is now also doing home appliances and medical devices.
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Furquan Kidwai, CEO of Well, says there are 4,000 items currently available for sale with many more to be added soon. Growth is about 26 per cent month-on-month.
It also runs a sister site, Dawaai, which can be likened to an online pharmacy. The startup wants to prevent the rampant trade of counterfeit and substandard products in Pakistan and prides itself on only delivering genuine items.
There’s an in-house team of qualified nutritionists and pharmacists that help guide customers and provide feedback on queries. To maintain its stringent quality parameters, Well does not operate on a marketplace model. It has its own fulfilment centres and does its own deliveries – usually through partnerships with other logistics firms.
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“Counterfeiting, grey market, tax evasion, and lack of customer focus are some of the biggest problems consumers face in Pakistan and the wider region,” explains Furquan. “We’re trying to provide a seamless experience.”
The startup has also reined in former executives from Rocket Internet and ICI to execute its ambitious growth plans.
Furquan adds that some of the cash will be used to strengthen the technology aspect of the store as well as streamline operations and customer support. There’s also work being done on locking in brand partnerships – its already signed a deal with Nike and hopes to close several more in the near future.
“Well.pk’s offering is well-timed with the rapidly increasing demand for home-delivery solutions that extend the reach of brands and drive business results,” says Nadeem.
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“Well.pk is a much-needed entrant to the nascent ecommerce industry and we are excited to collaborate with and support them as they work to build a great company in an exciting vertical.”
This article originally appeared on Tech in Asia.
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