CarFirst shuts down operations in midst of many Pakistani startups collapsing


The startup company CarFirst, which specialized in used cars, announced that it was ceasing operations in Pakistan in the midst of many Pakistani startups collapsing. 

The auto market thanked its stakeholders in a message on its LinkedIn page and said that a team will continue to be in place to manage the “closure of the organization.” 

Crunchbase, a prospecting tool for dealmakers, reports that CarFirst secured $89 million in fundraising across two stages. A Series A round of funding was received by them most recently on May 31, 2018. 

Read more: Loss-making Millat Tractors shuts down production operations

Frontier Car Group, a German company that creates, implements, and manages used-car marketplaces in emerging market economies, provided funding for the venture. Bayut-Dubizzle in the United Arab Emirates, Zameen in Pakistan, OLX in both Pakistan and Egypt, Lamudi in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Mexico, Mubawab in North Africa, and Kaidee in Thailand are some of its other business operations. 

CarFirst promised its clients a “safe, convenient and hassle-free process” as it purchased used automobiles and sold them on at a profit. Both a smartphone app and a physical network of more than 35 purchase-and-sale locations across Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Faisalabad, Multan, and Hyderabad were used to operate it. 

A similar firm with Turkish roots called VavaCars shut down its Pakistani operations earlier in June. Its closure came after numerous other significant ecommerce businesses recently announced layoffs, service reductions, and outright closures. VavaCars has secured as much as $50 million in a Series B financing in October 2021, with the support of Dutch energy giant Vitol. 

The startup ecosystem in Pakistan is now going through a difficult time. Global investors who formerly lavishly invested money in startups with flashy pitch decks are increasingly requiring early break-evens rather than merely top-line growth. 

Significant firms like Airlift, Careem, Swvl, and Truck It In have lately reduced the scope of their activities and laid off staff due to the global recession and unfavourable local economic conditions. 

According to CarFirst’s LinkedIn page, the company has at least 366 employees that have profiles there. 

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