Pakistan’s startup investment grows leaps and bounds

Javed Mirza Web Editor

01st Oct, 2021. 04:40 pm

KARACHI: Pakistani startups raised over $305 million during the first nine months of 2021, which is 1.5 times higher than the last six years’ investments in startups combined.

During the quarter ended September 30, 2021, the startups raised an all-time high of $177 million with August being the historic month, making 67 per cent of the entire quarter’s fundraising, and 39 per cent of the total fundraising in 2021 to-date.

Most funding at seed stage was witnessed in Fintech, ECom, HealthTech and Logistics with foreign participation growing massively.

“[The] momentum will continue with flush of liquidity, historic-low interest rates globally, Pakistan being a highly untapped market, with regulatory regime becoming accommodative,” Khurram Schehzad, CEO of Alpha Beta Core, said.

The recently flurry of funding is different, as it is almost exclusively raised from the local market. The appreciative response from investors implies a surge in the future investments.

A key to success of the startup is previous experience of the founders, showing that Pakistan has a great potential to raise its economic ecosystem.

“We have been very excited to see the potential and energy of Pakistani founders and to have built one more bridge between Pakistan and the rest of the global startup ecosystem,” says Jeng Yang Chia, Principal at Saison Capital, the venture arm of Credit Saison, told an international publication.

Ignite, a Ministry of IT and Telecom project that funds startups and innovative projects, is conducting an in-depth assessment study of Pakistan’s startup and freelancing ecosystems, and comparing it with the global startup and incubation/acceleration ecosystems in Silicon Valley, Singapore, Bangalore, etc.

An analyst said the countries across the globe were focused on instituting policy measures and introducing incentive packages for startups.

If provided with the right policies and regulatory frameworks, the technology-based startups can make a meaningful impact on the socioeconomic conditions in Pakistan, specifically by creating millions of jobs in addition to creating value in the economy. This makes it imperative for the government of Pakistan to take strategic initiatives and outline evidence-based policies for the development of entrepreneurial ecosystem and promotion of startups.

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