Muneeb Ahmad, Pakistan
The year 2016 has been a good year for the startup scene in Pakistan. There is definitely no doubt to the fact that there has been a significant rise in the trend of entrepreneurship where we saw many new faces, jumping on to the bandwagon. These included students who started their own micro-companies from scratch and the grown professionals too who, tempted to the huge growth potential in the said field, started their IT ventures. We also saw many supporters making up their place by starting different incubation centers, providing mentorships and and investors who decided to support the startups monetarily.
As we finally bid farewell to the year 2016, like as always we at TechJuice have come up with a comprehensive research which accounts for the startups that have raised investments from different investors in the year 2016. We have tried our bit to gather information, but we do understand that the list is not complete, and is open to additions. So, without any further ado, get started with the study, we have researched for you.
Founded in 2006 by an entrepreneur brother duo, Zameen.com today forms one of the largest property listing online portal in Pakistan. In 2012, it received its angel investment from a French property portal authority, Gilles Blanchard, and followed with a successful Series A round in 2014. In September last year, Zameen raised USD 9 Million as funds from three renowned international funds.
Zameen.com closed its Series C funding round with a USD 20 Million investment from one of its previous investors, this year. The founders had said that the investment was to be spent on EMPG’s existing ventures in Pakistan and UAE, as well as on launching new ventures in Bangladesh and the Middle East.
Sukoon.com.pk, a Karachi based online home services providing company successfully closed its seed investment round earlier this year. The startup made it to being one of the highest valued startup at The Nest I/O. The micro-company was also being called as one of the highest valued online company working on providing home repair and service solutions in Pakistan.
The seed investment round was led by Crescent Ventures as the lead investor and was followed by The Indus Entrepreneur (TiE) Islamabad Chapter and DotZero Ventures. This investment happened to be the inaugural one of TiE Islamabad and Crescent Ventures of Crescent Group.The amount acquired remained undisclosed.
Although not a startup, it is important to mention Engro here. FrieslandCampina International Holding BV took-over Engro Foods Limited, which is one of the largest listed companies at the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), by acquiring a 51% stake in the company. Based on the Pakistani firm’s the-then stock value, the deal was anticipated to bring in a hefty investments of over USD 460 Million. The deal was being called as one of the largest ever deal in the entire private sector of Pakistan.
FrieslandCampina International Holding BV is the world’s largest dairy enterprise based out of Netherlands. The enterprise was formed in 2008 and has offices in 28 countries around the globe with an annual revenue amounting at Euro 11.4 Billion.
PerkUp is a Karachi-based startup which provides loyalty and engagement services to businesses and individual consumers. The micro-enterprise successfully raised investments amounting to PKR 1.5 Crore in a seed funding round. The round was being led by DotZero Ventures, followed by Crescent Ventures.
It would be worth mentioning that the investment round brought many dedicated and experienced experts to PerkUp. Bilal Lakhani, the Publisher of Express Tribune who is also associated with DotZero ventures, joined the startup as board of Director. Following the successful investment-raising round, the PerkUp team was eyeing on spreading their domain to Punjab by hiring a team and start the operations.
RepairDesk, a Customer Relationship Management system developer for Mobile Repair Shops, secured seed funding of USD 40,000 from Revamp Wholesale. Anant Handa, CEO and Founder Revamp Wholesale joined the company as a co-founder to lead product strategy and marketing.
Founded in 2014, RepairDesk is an alumnus of the LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship. The startup works on developing cloud-based point of sale terminals and develops customer relationship management software, tailored to the specific needs of local small-scale and medium-sized cell phone repair shops. The comprehensive system could be used to assist merchants stay on top of inventory, and track on-going repairs.
KarloCompare, a finance startup co-founded by former bankers Sumair Farooqui and Ali Ladhubhai, is an online forum that helps Pakistani’s find the right general insurance or personal finance solution available in the market. Karlocompare.com.pk lists consumer finance (i.e. credit cards, auto loans, and personal loans) and general insurance products offered by a banks and insurance companies. Consumers looking to buy or apply for these products can get an overview of their options available in market.
KarloCompare, without disclosing the exact amount, declared, that they had raised a PKR 7-figure funding from Hina Khawaja Bayat and Roger Dawood Bayat during their first angel investment round.
Well.pk, a health and lifestyle e-commerce startup, disclosed earlier this year that they have secured funds close to USD $1 Million from their initial seed funding round. The investments were primarily backed by angel investors Nadeem Hussain and Noor Abid. The collected USD 1 Million, Furquan Kidwai, the CEO of Well.pk, said that the amount were to be used in strengthening the technology aspect of the store, and to streamline operations, and improve customer support.
Well.pk is a Pakistani startup primarily focusing on well-being and health. It started by selling articles related to health then expanding gradually with fitness supplements, vitamins, and herbal products added to the list. Now, the startup is selling home appliances and other delicate medical equipments as well.
Sabzi.pk, an online fruits and vegetables delivery startup which was incubated at LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship, had announced that it closed its seed funding round from the owners of a large Pakistani retail tycoon. The deal valued Sabzi.pk at USD 7.5 Million, which was being called as the highest value ever attained by an LCE alumnus for seed round funding.
Sabzi.pk, founded by three entrepreneurs Farooq Haider, Aown Abbas and Muhammad Awais, is an ecommerce store which delivers fruits and vegetables to the daily household consumers and corporate Hotel sector. Sabzi.pk, gets the subjects directly from farmers and mandi, and delivers fruits and vegetables to its customers at their doorsteps on nominal and/or lowered prices as compared to most retail outlets and that too within a day.
The team Travly had announced that they raised a sum of USD 200,000 in a funding round from Humayun Mazhar, CEO and Founder of CresVentures and Faisal Sherjaan.
Humayun Mazhar and Faisal Sherjaan, both have remained quite a popular names in the Pakistan’s startup industry. As you have already gone through the list, you might have noticed that Humayun Mazhar already had invested in Sukoon and PerkUp while Faisal Sherjan actively provides active mentorship to several renowned startups including BookMe, and Patari.
Pakistani FinTech startup, Finja, raised USD 1 Million in a USD 1.5 Million bridge seed financing round. The bridge seed funding round was led by Vostok Emerging Finance which is a listed investment company on the Stockholm Stock exchange. The company has been investing frequently in early stage FinTech startups especially those in emerging and frontier markets.
Finja, is a Pakistani FinTech which is being founded by industry veterans from tech and banking background, Qasif Shahid, Monis Rahman, and Umer Munawar. The startup aims to introduce new and unique financial services through inter-operable digital ecosystems. The unique model was put forward in order to promote behavioral change and increase financial inclusion into the society.
BeautyHooked, a beauty services providing platform which had grown right from home, closed their seed funding round with a USD 280,000 funding. The investments were backed by Fatima Ventures.
BeautyHooked is a platform that can be used to search, review, and book appointments at various salons and beauty spas at the convenience of a click. The female-led startup was founded in 2015 by a Cornell University graduate Sahr Said and Sidra Talha, which is a gold medalist from UMT Lahore. The startup soon started making waves and won the Startup Weekend Lahore. Since then, the startup has grown exponentially. Following the investments, the team at BeautyHooked were eyeing signing a deal with a company in Qatar in order to to take this platform international.
Mangobaaz, which is a popular online news aggregator platform, also managed to get investments quite recently. The startup had raised USD 115,000 in a seed funding round. The seed funding round was backed by Fatima Ventures, which already had invested in BeautyHooked.
Mangobaaz was founded by Ali Ahsan and Ali Gul in 2014 as a community news aggregator and is known to generate catchy and relateable, both original and curated content in Pakistan.
The KSA based Saudi Arab’s telecommunication company (STC) has recently announced going ahead with investing USD 100 Million in Careem. STC Venture is a KSA Government-backed enterprise which has already been investing in Careem since 2013. Careem also had raised USD 60 Million last year from investors and used it for expansion purposes.
Careem is a MENA based cab e-hailing service. The service has been operating in 47 cities of Middle Eastern North Africa (MENA) region including Qatar, Dubai, Pakistan, Turkey, and Saudi Arab.