In Pakistan, more than seven million people have some sort of physical disability. Products offering them relief are very limited and as a nation, we are far behind in terms of proper healthcare management for these individuals. The space to serve them is limited, but technology can play a huge part.
Startup AyeCo raises PKR 12m to empower the differently abled with high-tech wheelchairs
Realizing this need, Ayub Yaqoob Engineering Co (AyeCo), a startup that prides itself on being the first electric wheelchair manufacturing company of Pakistan, recently presented an excellent invention that grabbed the attention of many. The invention is a voice-controlled wheelchair.
The brainchild of a LUMS graduate named Faaiz Arbab, high-tech wheelchair named Gobee can be controlled through a smartphone application called ‘Call N Go’. It responds to the voice commands of the user, being able to turn left or right and move forward or backward. The invention is in line with AyeCo’s vision to empower those whose mobility is restricted due to physical handicaps.
Its myriad benefits bring us to how the emerging startup culture can be credited for driving innovation in society and creating a beneficial entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Gobee is a testament to the great work startups are doing to benefit various communities through their unique solutions. Gobee is not your regular wheelchair, but an all-in-one machine that boasts features such as a Wi-Fi facility, LED lights, emergency stop button and the drive power of up to 40km per hour.
Recently, AyeCo participated in NEO TV’s startup show ‘Idea Croron Ka’ to raise capital for expansion. The investors present on the show were blown away by this hi-tech innovation, which is bound to raise the profile of Pakistan’s medical exports to the world. PTI leader Asad Umar, chief guest on the show, was all praise for the startup, which he conveyed through a tweet.
Gobee’s distinctive features and the people behind this innovation inspired investor Aamir Ibrahim, who is also the CEO of Jazz, and Naeem Zamindar, Founder, Zamindar Capital, to invest in AyeCO. Both investors decided to claim 10% equity each for an individual sum of PKR 6 million.
Armed with a combined investment of PKR 12 million, the startup will certainly materialize its vision of expansion into reality. It is also encouraging to know that people like Aamir Ibrahim and Naeem Zamindar are going the extra mile to boost the local startup ecosystem. Having onboard seasoned professionals like Aamir and Naeem, will act as a huge benefit for young startups, who are generally inexperienced when it comes to financial projections and regulatory setbacks. Finding funding can often be a challenge but when the vision is powerful enough to grab attention, an investor will spend their resources to help it grow.