For Pakistan, the show must go on
Pakistani startups recently crossed $322M in funding, compared to the $350M they raised at the end of 2021. In the month of August different developments took place in the technology ecosystem of Pakistan.
Here’s an overview of what happened in the ecosystem in August.
- Pakistan-based OneLoad raises $11 million to fund growth initiatives. The investment round was led by Sarmaycar and Shorooq Partners, a leading Abu Dhabi-based venture capital firm, and participation from Bill and Melinda Gates’s strategic investment fund.
- Orbit-Ed, an AR startup based in Islamabad, raised $500k in a pre-seed round led by Boost VC, bringing their total pre-seed funding to $800,000.
- As first reported by Deal Street Asia, Remoty a cloud-based saas startup in the human resources industry has raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding. Investors in this angel round include Deosai ventures, executives of Google, Repairdesk founder Usman Butt and US-based payroll and compliance provider Deel.
- Pattern, a Lahore-based startup has raised a Six-figure round led by Deosai Ventures, other investors in the round included Sabr Capital, Arbisoft, and strategic investors from Singapore, MENA, Europe, and the UK.
- Power foods a Lahore-based startup raises 8 figures angel round.
- Mahaana wealth bags $2.1 million in pre-seed funding, Investors in the round included Swedish investment firm Vostok Emerging Finance, SparkLabs Group, and regional strategic partner IGI Holdings led Mahaana’s pre-seed financing (JV Partner of Nestle in Pakistan).
- PriceOye.pk, a Pakistani eCommerce platform, announced it has raised $7.9 million in a seed funding round led by US-based JAM Fund.
Other exciting news you should know
- Entravision, a leading global advertising, media, and ad-tech solutions company, announced today the closing of the previously announced strategic investment stake in Jack of Digital, a digital marketing services company that serves as the exclusive advertising sales partner of TikTok in Pakistan.
- ZoodPay, a digital lending platform for Middle Eastern and Central Asian e-commerce, recently announced that it had formed a joint venture (JV) with Neem.Pro, a Pakistani company that offers warehouse management and fulfillment services.
- DevOps Pakistan, a dedicated community for mentoring DevOps aspirants and building opportunities for DevOps professionals is acquired by UAE-based TecBrix for a figure of $1 million.
- The State Bank of Pakistan granted permission for pilot operations as a payment service operator/provider to Karachi-based fintech Safepay. The Fintech Startup also disclosed its partnership with Visa’s Cybersource.
- Cloud services provider Digital Ocean has agreed to offer $350 million in cash for the website hosting company Cloudways a tech company with Pakistani origins. The team behind Cloudways also operates different other international and local ventures including PureVPN, Zignaly, and Savyour under Disrupt.com Group.
- Bykea a 2-wheeler ride-hailing app has announced venturing into the 4-wheeler ride-hailing service. The company and its officials were seen teasing the new launch on various social channels. This move will further increase the competition in the 4-wheeler ride-hailing segment.
- Deosai Ventures an early-stage venture capital firm has launched a public document for startups that are looking to fundraise.
- Pakistani logistics startup PostEx has acquired logistics service provider Call Courier, establishing the country’s largest e-commerce logistics provider. PostEx will now serve 1.3 million users and over 8,000 businesses in 500 cities across Pakistan, with a loan book of more than $12 million.
- In the next phase of its journey to becoming a super app, Bykea is finally allowing commuters and users of its service to transact with prepaid methods such as cards.
- VentureDrive, a prominent global full-service technology firm that has worked with clients such as Careem and Tez Financial services, announced today the acquisition of NexDegree, a data products and solutions firm.
Considering recent developments in technological agreements, Pakistan’s recent interest in developing its technological future is being acknowledged by countries such as China, Korea & Iran. The government’s stance towards technological agreements and exchange of knowledge has been witnessed in the last few months, with a recent Letter of Intent to create a world-class technology ecosystem between Shenyang Economic and Technological Development Area (SEDA) of China and the Special Technology Zones Authority (STZA) of Pakistan.
Meanwhile, President Dr. Arif Alvi has also called for further enhancing the quantum of bilateral trade and investment between Pakistan and the Republic of Korea with ICT-based modern technologies as one of many sectors he had emphasized on. Furthermore, recently Pakistan Iran Joint Economic Commission (JEC) talks have been held in Pakistan and Iran has assured the promotion of mutual trade between the two countries.
With technology a focus of recent news, we spoke to Sarwar Khan, CEO of TPL Trakker (TPLT), a pioneer in tracking systems, GIS Implementation, and ICT Solutions in Pakistan, who stated: “Technological transformations are becoming increasingly important in Pakistan’s socioeconomic and sociotechnical development. We look forward to these innovations making a significant impact on not just our industries but also on the overall infrastructure.”
This stance supports the establishment of an internal framework in all sectors requiring digitization. In relative terms of knowledge exchange and investment opportunities in the real estate sector, one of the most lucrative avenues of investment is witnessing digital growth.
Our correspondent approached Jawad Nayyar, Chief Vision Officer at DAO PropTech, a platform poised to transform the real-estate ecosystem in Pakistan by strengthening the pillars of transparency, and accessibility, who said: “A technology-led transformation is all but ready for takeoff in Pakistan with companies such as ours honing some of the latest technologies available in today’s world. We believe that using such technologies, the industries of Pakistan, especially the real estate industry, can become wholly socioeconomically inclusive, catering to not only the select few but empowering the masses in general”
Considering the global slowdown in venture funding, Pakistan was also one of the countries being hit by the global slowdown. However, the ecosystem remains optimistic about the future.
The real play is in the long term, for Pakistan, the show must go on.