The firm will be able to grow its partner network, acquire new products, and attract consumers thanks to the seed round, which is being led by JAM Fund.
PriceOye, a Pakistani eCommerce platform specializing in electronics, has announced that it has completed a seed investment of $7.9 million as it works to establish itself as a national specialty electronics retailer with both an online and an offline presence.
Investors including the US-based JAM Fund, DG Daiwa, Mantis VC, HOF Capital, Palm Drive Capital, Atlas Ventures, and others participated in the seed round, which was also led by JAM Fund. Beenext was an early investor in the Indonesian decacorn eCommerce site Tokopedia.
Along with previous investors Fatima Gobi Ventures, SOSV, and Artistic Ventures, notable unicorn founders Peter Thiel of PayPal, Immad Akhud of Mercury Bank, and Asif Keshodia of Souq also took part in the round. The investment made by Peter Thiel in Pakistan is his first.
PriceOye describes itself as a managed electronics marketplace, offering suggestions depending on the needs of the customer and assisting them in making informed purchases.
“Buying behavior for consumer electronics is very different from buying other products,” says Adnan Shaffi, co-founder and CEO PriceOye. “When you are buying electronics, there is research involved and it is a planned purchase rather being an impulse purchase.”
“Consequently, people base their purchase decisions on recommendations of salesmen at electronics stores,” he says.
PriceOye has developed a product recommendation engine on the website for product research in an effort to mimic a similar online experience. PriceOye asserts that one of the key factors in drawing more than a million users each month to their platform has been the product recommendation system.
“The recommendation engine asks a few questions for every category. For instance, for washing machines, it will ask you questions like what is your price range, how many household members do you have and what is your washing frequency. Based on that, the engine recommends an ideal size of washing machine so that your electricity consumption and water wastage is minimum,” says Adnan.
PriceOye aims to replicate Best Buy in the US by becoming a nationwide consumer electronics franchise with an online and offline brick-and-mortar presence based on its distinctive offering and catering to a specific market.
The startup generates revenue by using a marketplace model to charge dealers selling consumer electronics on PriceOye a commission.
PriceOye, according to Adnan, is a tech play at the moment with a custom-developed technology stack. Therefore, the money will be used to improve both technical capabilities and consumer satisfaction with regard to online delivery.
“Another problem with eCommerce is that customers order a certain product but receive a different one,” Adnan says.
PriceOye has therefore established an open package delivery model, under which when a client receives a product from PriceOye, the consumer can open the package, inspect it, and even try it before paying for it.
Adnan states that their growth, which he estimates is 500% year-over-year, has also been considerably aided by the open parcel delivery. The funds will now be used more extensively by PriceOye to scale up parcel delivery.
The remaining funds will be utilized to introduce new electronic product categories to the marketplace.
Mantis VC founder and partner Alex Pall said, “Within a short period of time, PriceOye has grown exponentially and has cemented its position as the leading national company in online consumer electronics. We are excited to join PriceOye in its mission towards changing the way people shop in Pakistan.”
managing partner of Palm Drive Capital Seamon Chan which has backed eCommerce unicorn Jet.com, stated, “It’s always a difficult choice for consumers to spend big amounts of money on high-value products while being unsure about their authenticity. I was inspired by the vision of PriceOye founders Adnan and Adeel of creating transparency and bringing convenience to customers when it comes to shopping for consumer electronics.”