The young population of Pakistan and rising levels of local capital are generating opportunities for technology entrepreneurs to penetrate the market in the region. At a time when Pakistan’s economy is only keeping its head above water, a few Pakistani technology startups have received big funding rounds.
Presenting an example of how Pakistan’s start-up scene is gaining global support, the DW article said that Swvl, an Egyptian ride-hailing firm, recently announced plans to spend $25 million in the next two years in Pakistan’s tech sector to finance pre-seed start-ups and build 10,000 jobs.
Although the technology start-up scene and venture investment market in Pakistan is still relatively young, since 2018, the number of funds such as i2i Ventures and Fatima Gobi Ventures and successful investors has increased significantly.
“In the last few years, Pakistan’s software ecosystem has been slowly gathering traction”, says Hena Husain, founder of The Content Architects, a London-based communications company.
“It is home to a deep base of tech talent and is also competitively priced, making it suitable for entrepreneurs like myself in the early stages.”
Quoting Rabeel Warraich, founder of Pakistan-based venture capital fund Sarmayacar, said that “the sequence of success stories of startups, combined with President Imran Khan’s more stable political landscape, has increased and the confidence of investors that Pakistan has tremendous potential for exiting companies“.
According to Iskander Pataudi, a Pakistani-born tech expert who works in Berlin. “The tech scene has evolved organically. Technology is booming, and Pakistan is an untapped market. Until consumers decided to take interest, it was only a matter of time“.
Airlift, an app-based bus system established only 11 months ago, raised a $12 million Series A financing round in August 2019, led by First Round Finance, a US-based venture capital (VC) company. This round marked the company’s first investment in more than a decade in Asia.
Pakistani nationals living abroad are starting to feel that back home is opening up new areas of opportunities.