Uzum’s digital ecosystem has secured over $100 million for development, marking it as Uzbekistan’s first “unicorn” tech firm with a valuation exceeding $1 billion, according to a company’s statement. The Series A round saw more than $52 million in equity investments, complemented by an additional $62 million in borrowed funds.

Uzum is the first company originating from Uzbekistan that TechCrunch has reported on.

Leading the Series A investment is global venture fund FinSight Ventures, known for backing Intercom, ThoughtSpot, Automation Anywhere, and others. Xanara Investment Management, based in India and focused on the Gulf region, alongside top Uzum executives, participated in the round.

Upon completion, investors will collectively hold a stake of less than 5%. Uzum aims to secure an additional $200 million throughout 2024, sourcing funds from the Middle East, the UK and the U.S.

In 2024, Uzum, established in 2022, intends to launch Uzbekistan’s largest logistics complex for online commerce, anticipating a 2.5-fold increase in e-commerce turnover within the year. Plans also include introducing various ecosystem products for unsecured lending to individuals and small-to-medium enterprises. The investment round is expected to fuel IT and logistics infrastructure development, as well as the company’s installment service.

Uzum founder and CEO Djasur Djumaev reports over 10 million people in Uzbekistan use the company’s services monthly. In the previous year, Uzum earned about $100 million in net profit, with intentions for further growth this year, including through service integration within the Uzum ecosystem. The company’s e-commerce segment emerged as the largest online platform in Uzbekistan by user count and order volume in 2023, generating around $150 million in turnover, the message read.

Uzum’s ecosystem combines e-commerce, fintech and banking services for individuals and SMEs, encompassing e-commerce, express delivery service, banking and fintech, buy now, pay later (BNPL) service, a car-buying platform and an app for entrepreneurs. These components are converging into two superapps: Uzum for individuals and Uzum Business for corporate entities.

Uzum anticipates a sixfold increase in the country’s online payment market by 2026, alongside an eight-to-ninefold expansion of the e-commerce sector and an eightfold expansion of the fintech sector, according to Nikolay Seleznev, Uzum’s chief strategy and business development officer.

KPMG highlights the e-commerce market in Uzbekistan as the fastest growing in Central Asia, projecting a sevenfold growth over the next five years. Experts attribute this potential growth and active digitalization of the country’s economy to high Internet penetration, a youthful demographic, and limited banking and financial service penetration.