Uzum, a prominent digital services ecosystem in Uzbekistan, has achieved unicorn status with a post-money value of over $1bn, after securing over $100m in capital through a combination of debt financing and a Series A funding round.

Uzum intends to utilise the money to finance its own BNPL service in addition to expanding the nation’s logistics and IT infrastructure.

Through a Series A funding round made up entirely of primary investments, Uzum was able to secure over $50m in equity.

Lead investors in the financing effort included Uzum’s senior management team, Xanara Investment Management, a multifamily office in the United Arab Emirates, and global venture capital firm FinSight Ventures, whose portfolio firms have included Intercom, ThoughtSpot, Automation Anywhere, Toss, GupShup, Razorpay, Bumble, Rappi, and Carta, among others. Alternatively, the business raised over $50m in debt financing.

Investors in the Series A investment round will be given less than 5% of the company’s stake.

Given Uzum’s results in 2023, its initial year of operations, and the ecosystem’s vast potential, the shareholders opted not to significantly reduce their ownership interests during the fundraising round.

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Uzum digital ecosystem

The digital ecosystem combines e-commerce, fintech, and banking services for people as well as small and medium-sized businesses. It includes a marketplace, an express delivery service, traditional and digital banks, a BNPL service, an automotive marketplace, and an entrepreneur app.

It also consists of a marketplace, an express delivery service, traditional and digital banks, a BNPL service, an automotive marketplace, and an entrepreneur app.

Furthermore, every element of the ecosystem has been merged into two superapps: Uzum Business for legal entities and Uzum for individuals.

The Uzum ecosystem had 10 million average monthly users and a net profit of slightly under $100m by the end of 2023.

In the meantime, Uzum’s fintech and retail banking divisions led the nation in profitability, and its $150m a year e-commerce division was a significant online marketplace in Uzbekistan in terms of both user base and order volume.

Uzum goals following funding round

In 2024, Uzum aims to attract an additional $200m in a Series B fundraising round from Middle Eastern, UK, and US investors.

Moreover, Uzum intends to create the largest e-commerce logistics complex in 2024, with the goal of increasing e-commerce turnover by over 150% and introducing unsecured financing ecosystem products.

Alexey Garyunov, managing partner at FinSight Ventures, commented: ” Uzum has already become the national leader in its key business verticals (fintech and e-commerce) thanks to strong network effects and synergies between its various businesses. We witnessed the success of in creating a superapp in neighbouring Kazakhstan, Rappi in Latin America, and Toss in South Korea, and we are confident that Uzum, which has the necessary talent, resources, and products, will repeat this success to become the national tech leader in Uzbekistan.” 

Djasur Djumaev, Uzum’s founder and CEO, said: “Last year, we earned nearly $100m in net profit, and we intend to increase this figure this year, partly by integrating services within the Uzum ecosystem. We also plan to add new business streams and services for business and private users to the ecosystem this year. We see tremendous interest in the Uzbek market and in Uzum’s digital ecosystem as one of its drivers and, of course, this would not have been possible without the extraordinary team of world-class professionals who created the first tech unicorn in the country’s history.”