Northern Gulf Partners, a frontier market investment firm, and California-based Pay It Forward Venture Capital, have led a seven-figure US dollar seed round investment in Lezzoo, a delivery and e-payment platform that aims to become Iraq's first super-app.
Lezzoo received a pre-seed investment from Silicon Valley's Y Combinator and is the only Iraqi start-up accepted into its well-known accelerator program. Angel investors and family offices in the USA, Europe and the Middle East joined the seed round.
Lezzoo delivers items such as prepared food, groceries and pharmaceuticals in several Iraqi cities. The recently launched Lezzoo Pay seeks to disrupt Iraq's predominantly cash-based society by bringing digital transactions to a population that is majority unbanked.
Lezzoo founder and CEO Yadgar Merani said:
"We are using technology to solve the biggest logistical challenges in people's daily lives. This investment will allow us to expand across the country while also rolling out new verticals. By integrating deliveries, transportation, payments and other services we are on our way to becoming the super-app for Iraqis."
Zaab Sethna, partner at Northern Gulf Partners, said:
"Lezzoo has a forward-thinking, creative and dynamic team of founders and we are excited to back them. Iraq is a country with a young, connected and increasingly sophisticated population. Incomes are rising but the barriers to entry remain high and this gives an advantage to home-grown firms."
Raaid Hossain, General Partner of Pay It Forward Venture Capital, said:
"We are proud and privileged to be able to back Lezzoo, a company that challenges the status quo by providing a best in class delivery experience for consumers, as well as drives the spirit of digital entrepreneurship in Iraq. We believe that a connected service industry, especially during times of restricted movement due to covid-19, is paramount to staying safe, healthy and feeling a sense of comfort. We truly believe Yadgar and the team are doing their part to make the world a better place.