5 Pakistani startups to look out for in 2022
Entrepreneurship has finally arrived in Pakistan. With a bang.
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Startups in Pakistan have witnessed a sharp rise in investments in the first eight months of 2021. After a dry Covid-induced lockdown period, capital investment in Pakistan has skyrocketed. From just US$ 77 million raised by companies in 2020, investment in 2021 shot to US$ 300 million according to Crunchbase and Invest2Innovate data. Countries like US, Singapore, United Arab Emirates are amongst the few that are investing in these startup companies.
Many Pakistani citizens who were settled abroad have returned home and started their own companies. These new generation entrepreneurs are using their skills and mindset to utilise the local talent in the best possible way. With the digitalisation boom, 110 million people are now using smartphones. This was the perfect ground for new companies to thrive.
According to experts, if the momentum continues for the next few years, it will take Pakistan in the league of billions of dollars by 2025.
Here are five Pakistani startups which have created headlines in the recent months:
TAG: PAKISTANI NEOBANK
In simple terms, a neobank is a type of digital bank, which is different from a traditional bank. They are cheap alternatives to traditional banks. Pakistan has approximately 100 million people who don’t own a bank account, and TAG tapped right into this user base. And it worked. The startup raised around 12 million in the first seed round. This is an impressive figure for any company in the world. With its office based in Islamabad, TAG is a prospering startup to look out for in 2022.
TAJIR: B2B INVENTORY STORE FOR PAKISTANI SHOPKEEPERS
Tajir is a B2B (business-to-business) mobile application where Pakistani shopkeepers can purchase their items, get the delivery next day, with a robust tracking system in between. Since the Pakistani retail market is inefficient and slow, the founders of Tajir knew exactly what to target. Having said that, there is a lot to be achieved in this sector, given that the Pakistani retail sector is valued at more than US$ 150 billion, and is growing at 9 per cent year-on-year for 20 years. The company is based in Lahore, and the total funding is around US$ 19 million.
CREDITBOOK: DIGITAL LEDGER FOR BUSINESSES
Similar to Khatabook in India, Creditbook is a kind of replacement for all the paperwork related to business. It has already recorded millions of transactions and has created happy customers. With their office in Karachi, and total funding at 1.5 million, Creditbook is surely a startup to look out for in 2022.
AIRLIFT TECHNOLOGIES: 40-MINUTE DELIVERY OF ESSENTIALS
Before the pandemic, Airlift Technologies was a transit company for people. But after the pandemic completely disrupted, and eventually killed the business model, the company in September 2020 pivoted back and started delivering goods. The company raised an impressive US$ 85 million in 2021, which is also a record for any Pakistani startup. The office is based in Lahore, and the total funding of the company is around US$ 109.2 million.
DASTGYR: B2B eCOMMERCE MARKETPLACE
The concept of Dastgyr is along the same lines as Tajir; the only difference being it offers B2B supplying services to retailers who wish to purchase items directly from suppliers. The basic difference between Dastgyr and Tajir is the magnitude of items ordered; on Dastgyr, it's a lot more. The company is based in Lahore with a total funding at 4 million, and certainly a startup to watch out for in 2022.