Pakistani digital freight forwarding startup eyes MENA expansion, secures $1 million funding

ISLAMABAD: Voyage Freight, a Pakistani digital freight forwarding startup, said on Monday it had secured over $1 million in pre-seed funding to “revolutionize the international shipping sector in Pakistan” and push forward with expansion in the MENA region.

The funding round was led by Indus Valley Capital, which highlighted growing confidence in Voyage’s vision to simplify the complex nature of traditional global shipping.

“This strategic injection of capital marks a milestone in Voyage’s journey to transform the logistics industry for Pakistani exporters,” Voyage Freight, which offers exporters an end-to-end, global shipping solution with modern technology, said as it announced the funding.

The company said it was setting its sights on becoming a key player in the logistics sector within the MENA Region, starting with a strong foundation in Pakistan. The funds, it said, would help catalyze the company’s mission to “streamline and enhance the export logistics process for Pakistan’s growing trade market, through an innovative, technology-driven platform.”

“Increasing exports is a burning problem for Pakistan and an outdated, opaque global shipping experience remains a key impediment. Voyage’s vision of simplifying global freight for anyone in Pakistan, especially new and smaller exporters, really resonated with us. We’re excited to partner with them,” Indus Valley Capital founder Aatif Awan said.

Omar Mukhtar, co-founder of Voyage Freight, said he was “thrilled” that the investors shared the company’s vision of digitizing and simplifying the export shipping process.

Mukhtar is an alumnus of University College London and the London School of Economics and has experience with scaling companies within Pakistan’s competitive landscape.

Traditional freight forwarding processes in Pakistan present challenges such as lack of transparency and complex customs procedures, which lead to inefficiency and increased costs.

By merging all shipping operations onto a single dashboard, the platform allows clients “real-time visibility and control over their cargo, providing a transparent, efficient, and cost-effective shipping experience,” the company said, adding that digital freight forwarding could provide an efficient avenue for clients in the country’s export sector and tackle the current account deficit and support the rupee.

“In the current global economy, the ability to export efficiently is crucial for the growth and competitiveness of Industry,” Mukhtar said. “Our aim is to democratize access to global markets for exporters.”

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