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Airlift

airliftexpress.com

Founded Year

2019

Stage

Dead | Dead

Total Raised

$109.2M

About Airlift

Airlift provides a commerce service in cities in Pakistan that allows users can order groceries, fresh produce, and other necessities, such as prescriptions and sports equipment, using the Airlift website or app, and have them delivered in 30 minutes. Airlift started as a ridesharing service that enables users to make commutes across the city. The company was founded in 2019 and is based in Lahore, Pakistan.

Headquarters Location

Lahore,

Pakistan

03-111-222-806

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Research containing Airlift

Get data-driven expert analysis from the CB Insights Intelligence Unit.

CB Insights Intelligence Analysts have mentioned Airlift in 4 CB Insights research briefs, most recently on Oct 17, 2022.

Expert Collections containing Airlift

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Airlift is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Mobility-as-a-Service.

M

Mobility-as-a-Service

560 items

Companies developing solutions to streamline the way people move themselves. Includes companies providing on-demand access to passenger vehicles and micromobility solutions as well as companies integrating multiple modes of transport, including public transit, into one service.

Airlift Patents

Airlift has filed 1 patent.

The 3 most popular patent topics include:

  • Automotive safety technologies
  • Automotive suspension technologies
  • Building insulation materials
patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date

Title

Related Topics

Status

6/4/2018

12/31/2019

Maidu villages, Concrete, Fluid dynamics, Piping, Building insulation materials

Grant

Application Date

6/4/2018

Grant Date

12/31/2019

Title

Related Topics

Maidu villages, Concrete, Fluid dynamics, Piping, Building insulation materials

Status

Grant

Latest Airlift News

How a startup with operations in South Africa folded just a year after raising $85 million

Sep 12, 2022

Bloomberg 12 September 2022 Subscribe In early July, things looked rosy at Airlift Technologies as it prepared to raise more cash for expansion. Six days later, the startup – one of Pakistan’s most prominent – was bust. The e-commerce company collapsed less than a week after failing to complete a funding round, underscoring how severely the global rout in tech valuations is affecting fragile startups in emerging markets. Airlift had raised $85 million a year earlier — a record for the country – and had curbed spending in a bid to appeal to investors as it worked toward a fresh round. But then the lead backer pulled its commitment, leaving Airlift with no capital to continue and forcing it to abruptly shut down. “The entire team, including myself, was taken by surprise when the round fell apart at the final moment,” co-founder Usman Gul said in an interview. “Airlift was not prepared for the shift in sentiment in capital markets.” Healthy growth and progress toward profitability wasn’t enough to convince investors spooked by a global economic slowdown and slumping tech stocks. Airlift joins a slew of startups in Pakistan and neighboring India that have hit a wall as venture capitalists curb investing in the region in favor of countries and industries they consider less risky. Gul, 33, said one of Airlift’s mistakes was not to raise more funds last year, when the markets were more favorable. This year, investors’ attention has turned from growth toward earnings potential, bringing startups’ business models under more intense scrutiny. As Airlift prepared for it latest fundraising effort, it let go a third of its employees, reduced the target size of the round and lowered its valuation. The company appeared to have the commitments it needed as it sent the final documents to investors on July 5. But just two days later, things took a turn for the worse. The lead backer delayed sending the money, wanting more investors to wire funds together with it, Gul said, without revealing the main investor’s name. The other investors asked for two to three months, citing fears of a global recession and downturn in capital markets. Less than a week into the negotiations, Airlift’s coffers had dried up and the company had no option but to wind down its business. “The biggest miss on our end is not prioritizing a multi-stage institutional investor,” Gul said, referring to larger anchor backers who support startups through several funding rounds. “You need that multi-stage institutional investor, someone like Accel or Sequoia, who believes in the project and can write larger checks.” Gul praised the support it received from its early backers, but said their relatively small size didn’t allow them to invest as much as Airlift required to keep fueling its growth. The company had commitments from previous investors First Round Capital, Indus Valley Capital, Buckley Ventures, 20VC and others for the latest round before it fell apart. Airlift helped shine a spotlight on Pakistan with its record funding round that stood out during what turned to be a breakout year for the South Asian nation’s startups — they raised a record of more than $350 million during 2021. But the pace of fundraising has slowed since, prompting companies to put the brakes on their expansion plans. Vitol-backed VavaCars has exited Pakistan, Dubai-based Swvl Holdings has paused daily rides in the country and Uber Technologies Inc unit Careem Inc has halted its food-delivery business. In India, shares of Zomato Ltd. and Paytm have plunged since their market debuts last year and even the country’s most valuable startup Byju’s has struggled to raise more funds. Airlift started by operating vans and small buses used by office workers and students. When that business slowed during the pandemic, the company pivoted to quick commerce. Before its demise, the startup deployed about $85 million over 18 months to set up more than 70 warehouses in Pakistan, expand in South Africa, and add visibility through marketing spending. As it worked toward the last fundraising effort, the company had reduced its cash burn by 66% and was about three months away from operating profitability and about six to nine months from company-level profitability, according to Gul. “We intend to learn from this experience,” Gul said. “Market turnarounds are a reality that require better planning and preparation on our end.”

Airlift Web Traffic

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Page Views per User (PVPU)
Page Views per Million (PVPM)
Reach per Million (RPM)
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Airlift Rank

Airlift Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Airlift founded?

    Airlift was founded in 2019.

  • Where is Airlift's headquarters?

    Airlift's headquarters is located at Lahore.

  • What is Airlift's latest funding round?

    Airlift's latest funding round is Dead.

  • How much did Airlift raise?

    Airlift raised a total of $109.2M.

  • Who are the investors of Airlift?

    Investors of Airlift include Indus Valley Capital, Quiet Capital, Josh Buckley, Harry Stebbings, Stanley Tang and 25 more.

  • Who are Airlift's competitors?

    Competitors of Airlift include Bazaar and 4 more.

Compare Airlift to Competitors

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Tajir

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Jugnu

Jugnu is a B2B e-commerce platform that digitizes small retail stores in Pakistan. The company platform enables ordering and getting deliveries in a less than 24 hour window.

GrocerApp Logo
GrocerApp

GrocerApp is a web and mobile platform that enables users to order groceries and have them delivered.

U
Ucaaz

Ucaaz is a combination of retail, e-commerce, and an ultrafast delivery system. The company offers products such as animal products, baby products, dairy products, and more. It was founded in 2021 and is based in Karachi, Pakistan.

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Udaan

Udaan provides a B2B platform designed specifically for small and medium businesses in India. Its platform brings together traders, wholesalers, retailers, and manufacturers and enables supply and payments through the platform. The company was founded in 2016 and is based in Bengaluru, India.

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Khatabook

Khatabook is a personal accounting platform for managing credit via a digital ledger app that helps small and medium businesses to track its transactions.

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