Pakistan: Startups Incubated at Karachi's NED University Got the Highest Funding in 2022
Karachi-based start-ups raised $236.7 million in 2022, accounting for two-thirds of Pakistan's total startup funding and almost double the previous year, according to Data Darbar. Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, is followed by Lahore with $69.2 million and Islamabad with $41.6 million. Nationally, the total funds raised by startups have been declining after hitting the peak of $173 million in Q1/2022.
|City-wise Startup Funding of Pakistani Startups. Source: Data Darbar via FDI Intelligence|
|Startup Funding Trend in Pakistan. Source: Data Darbar via FDI Intelligence|
Across Pakistan, the total funds raised by startups have been declining since hitting the peak of $173 million in Q1/2022. Start-ups raised just over $15m in Q4/22, the lowest figure since the first quarter of 2020 and 79% lower than the same period a year earlier, according to Data Darbar, which tracks the Pakistani start-up scene. This downward trend is at least partly due to Pakistan's current economic crisis. It also reflects a global decline in VC investments in startups.
Pakistan Broadband Subscriptions Pass 100 Million
NED University Ranked Among World's Top 200 For Impact
Pakistan's Computer Services Exports Jump 26% Amid Coronavirus Lockdown
Pakistan Gig Economy Among World's Fastest Growing
NED Alum Sells Silicon Valley Company For $7.5 Billion
Pakistan's Demographic Dividend
Over a Million Pakistani University Students Enrolled in STEM Education
State Bank Targets Fully Digital Economy in Pakistan
NED University Alum Raises $100 Million For His Silicon Valley Fintech Startup
Digital Pakistan: Broadband Penetration Reaches 90% of 15+ Population
E-Commerce in Pakistan
2021: A Banner Year For Pakistani Tech Startups
NED Alum's AI Startup Startup Named Most Innovative at RSA Conference
Karachi-Born NED Alum Leads Mercedes' Entry into Electric Vehicle Market
AI Research Funded by NED Alum at His Alma Mater
Riaz Haq's Youtube Channel
1. USA 1851
2. UK 266
3. Germany 229
4. Canada 179
5. France 163
6. India 159
7. Australia 134
8. The Netherlands 122
9. China 87
10. Italy 86
11. Switzerland 79
12. Brazil 73
13. Spain 72
14. Turkey 68
15. Hong Kong 61
16. Sweden 60
17. Russia 59
18. Japan 54
19. Indonesia 54
20. Romania 46
21. New Zealand 45
22. Singapore 41
23. Belgium 40
24. Poland 40
25. Norway 36
26. Ukraine 34
27. Malaysia 33
28. Denmark 32
29. Portugal 32
30. South Africa 31
31. Bulgaria 29
32. Finland 24
33. Czech Republic 24
34. Iran 23
35. Saudi Arabia 22
36. Thailand 22
37. Pakistan 21
38. South Korea 20
39. Vietnam 19
40. Greece 18
41. Latvia 18
42. Israel 17
43. Cyprus 16
44. Argentina 15
44. Egypt 14
45. Mexico 14
46. Slovakia 14
47. Estonia 13
48. Lithuania 12
49. Mauritius 10
50. Taiwan 10
51. Iceland 9
52. Hungary 9
53. Kenya 9
54. UAE 9
55. Malta 8
56. Venezuela 7
57. Uruguay 7
58. Jordan 6
59. Nepal 6
60. Cambodia 5
61. Ghana 5
62. Gibraltar 5
63. Macedonia 5
64. Morocco 5
65. Bangladesh 4
Rest of the list has less than 4 data centers each
KARACHI, Pakistan, March 7 (Reuters) - Trukkr, a fintech platform for Pakistan’s trucking industry, said on Tuesday it had raised $6.4 million in a funding round and also received a non-banking financial company (NBFC) licence.
Trukkr offers Pakistan’s small- and medium-sized trucking companies a transport management system and supply chain solutions, and is unique in providing fintech to digitise the largely unbanked and undocumented industry.
The seed funding round was led by U.S. based Accion Venture Lab and London based Sturgeon Capital. Haitou Global, Al Zayani Venture Capital and investor Peter Findley also participated in the round, Trukkr said in a statement.
The company's business model is similar to Kargo in Indonesia, Solvento in Mexico and Kobo 360 in Africa, but has been adapted to the market in Pakistan.
Trukkr said less than 5% of trucking companies using its platform have access to financial services, often having to wait up to 90 days for payments and leaving them unable to cover expenses such as fuel, tolls and truck maintenance.
Sheryar Bawany, Trukkr CEO and co-founder, told Reuters that it was looking to launch financial products at a "reasonable risk adjusted spread" to the benchmark Karachi Interbank Offered Rate (KIBOR).
Co-founder Mishal Adamjee said there are some 20,000 drivers on Trukkr's platform, servicing 100 of the biggest companies in the country including Shan Foods, Artistic Milliners, International Industries Limited and Lucky Cement.
Adamjee told Reuters that Pakistan's $35 billion a year trucking industry is growing at 10% annually despite limited rail and water freight infrastructure.
Investor Accion Venture Lab said the Covid pandemic had shown how much the world relied on global supply chains.
"We want to bet on a company striving to tackle inefficiencies in a market filled with opportunities," it said in the statement.
According to Pakistan’s Board of Investment, projected demand for freight transport will double by 2025 and increase six-fold by 2050 to 600 billion freight tonnes-kilometre, particularly as the China Pakistan Economic Corridor kicks in.
Other freight marketplace startups in Pakistan include Truck It In, BridgeLinx and Freightix.
He advised founders of India-centric startups "to be careful" and "not get carried away" by investors who force companies they fund, to domicile in the US and open bank accounts there as well, according to a PTI report.
Union IT minister to meet Indian startups amid concerns over ..
Read more at:
On Friday, US regulators pulled the plug on SVB - a key lender to US startups since the 1980s - after a run on deposits made it no longer tenable for the medium-sized bank to stay afloat on its own.
SVB has exposure to over 20 startups in India and began investing here in 2003.
According to startup research advisory Tracxn, SVB has invested in several Indian firms, including Paytm, Carwale, Bluestone, Shaadi and Sarva. In October last year, SVB had invested $150 million in contract intelligence company Icertis.
Following the collapse, startup founders and investors in Mumbai exchanged rumors about which fledgling company might be the first to fall, Bloomberg reported.
India has one of the world's biggest startup markets, with many clocking multi-billion-dollar valuations in recent years and getting the backing of foreign investors who have made bold bets on digital and other tech businesses.
SVB's failure, the biggest in the US since the 2008 financial crisis, has roiled global markets, hit banking stocks and is now unsettling Indian entrepreneurs.
Two partners at an Indian venture capital fund and one lender to Indian start-ups told Reuters that they are running checks with portfolio companies on any SVB exposure and if so, whether it is a significant part of their total bank balance.
An Indian founder told Bloomberg News he failed to retrieve company funds and is now left only with working capital. Another was scurrying to stop and reroute customer payments into his company’s SVB account, while also setting up new arrangements for salary payments. Three founders and a startup investor said they hadn’t slept in 48 hours.
European seed investor Speedinvest leads round by Karachi firm
Company bets on rising demand for after-school tutoring
Pakistan’s Maqsad raised the nation’s largest funding round by an education technology provider, showing that some startups in the nascent market are attracting investors despite a global venture financing slump.
The Karachi-based company raised $2.8 million in an oversubscribed seed round led by Speedinvest GmbH, one of Europe’s largest seed investors, and existing backer Indus Valley Capital, according to co-founder Rooshan Aziz. Stellar Capital, Alter Global and angel investors also participated.
Pakistan’s venture funding was little changed at about $350 million last year, but startups including AdalFi and Truckrr have raised sizable rounds for the market this year. The nation has the world’s fifth-largest population with a high proportion of young people.
“The ecosystem is going through a bit of a shake, but the companies which you know are solving fundamental basic problems, they’ll survive,” Aziz said in an interview. Maqsad’s operations are relatively lean and scalable and its education content always remains relevant, Aziz said.
Education spending in Pakistan is estimated at $37 billion by 2032 with a quarter of this going to after-school academic support, the target market for Maqsad, according to the startup. The mobile-only service targets students on grades nine to twelve and offers cheaper rates than brick-and-mortar tutoring companies. Its services include a feature that allows students to take a photo of a question and receive an answer instantly.
The app has been downloaded more than a million times and it has answered 4 million queries in the past 6 months. The startup can impact millions of students and become one of the most successful businesses in Pakistan, said Philip Specht, a partner at Speedinvest, which has one edtech unicorn in its portfolio.
The startup was founded by high-school friends Taha Ahmed and Aziz, who went to the London School of Economics and worked in the city before returning to Karachi to start the venture. The startup will start monetization in the coming months and may partner with other public and private institutions, Aziz said.
“This is an interesting time for edtech because globally the hype has kind of settled down after Covid,” said Ahmed. “So only serious companies are being funded in this space.”