Bazaar, a Karachi-based business-to-business ecommerce marketplace, has launched Easy Khata, a new mobile application that assists retailers in managing their ledger and accounting. The app, which launched just over a month ago, has already onboarded over 100,000 active merchants from Pakistan’s 400 cities and towns. Easy Khata went viral within days of its launch, regularly trending at the top of Google Play.
The company’s primary offering is an ecommerce application that enables grocery retailers to acquire inventory for their stores. Founded less than a year ago, the company has raised approximately $8 million to date, including $6.5 million in what was at the time Pakistan’s largest seed round. It mentioned that it has already partnered with some of the country’s largest FMCG companies and served thousands of retailers in Karachi.
Saad Jangda, co-founder of Bazaar, explained that the decision to launch a digital ledger app is part of the company’s goal to become the operating system for retail in Pakistan. “Traditional retail in Pakistan has yet to see technology play a significant role in the value chain. However, with the launch of Bazaar, we saw unprecedented digital acceptance of our commerce app, reinforcing our conviction to incorporate additional digital products such as accounting, payments, lending, and commerce as part of a single digital stack”.
The Easy Khata app includes online backups, three free regular SMS notifications to customers, PDF files, and a few other straightforward features that simplify the process of tracking transactions and informing customers of their outstanding balances.
The Karachi-based startup is not the first in Pakistan to introduce a retailer-focused digital ledger application. The idea, pioneered by India’s Khatabook (which raised more than $110 million), was brought to Pakistan by DigiKhata, CreditBook, and Udhaar. All three of them were in the space prior to Bazaar, but they’ve developed businesses around the digital ledger app and are considering introducing fintech products (including credit) in the future.
Bazaar arrived at this location through an entirely different path. It launched the ecommerce marketplace first, and then, in response to retailer feedback, decided to launch the digital ledger app as well. With this step, they become the only player in the space to give merchants both of these services. Easy Khata, the startup said, is one of the numerous items they plan to launch for the country’s retailers. “We believe that speed has always been our primary strength as we aim to serve this vast space,” the startup stated. With a product, engineering, and design team of 40 people and expanding, we are accelerating our journey to digitise and serve small businesses across Pakistan through a single offering.”
Easy Khata, which has over 100,000 active users, will also serve as a (relatively) cost-effective platform for acquiring new customers for Bazaar (for its B2B ecommerce marketplace). According to Bazaar, the company currently serves 17,000 merchants in Karachi. The startup intends to expand to additional cities in Pakistan in the coming months.
“With Easy Khata, we’ve already built a sizable user base in the majority of cities and a strong national brand for the local retail segment,” the startup’s co-founders added.