Invest2Innovate releases Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report 2021

Noor Haider
Invest2Innovate releases Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report 2021
Invest2Innovate releases Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report 2021

Invest2Innovate, an Islamabad-based startup data tracking and support platform, released its Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 (PSER 2021). 

Tell me more: Invest2Innovate was founded by Kalsoom Lakhani and Misbah Naqvi in 2011, and it has since been working in the Pakistani startup community. 

The Invest2Innovate Insights Lab releases data-driven products on Pakistan’s startup ecosystem. It also maintains an open-source deal flow tracker and releases updates every quarter. 

The PSER 2021 includes insights from key ecosystem stakeholders like entrepreneurs, investors, and policymakers.

What it says: The report has five sections covering:

  • Finance
  • Support
  • Policy
  • Human Capital
  • Gender

It also includes different case studies like Bykea, Safepay, and Oraan.

By the numbers: 257 deals were recorded from 2015 to 2021, and the total amount raised by startups is $565 million.

2021 also saw:

  • 438% increase in the amount of funding raised from 2020
  • E-commerce raised $211 million across 26 deals
  • Fintech startups raised a total of $95 million across 25 deals
  • 40% of all disclosed investors were international VCs (22% increase from 2020)
  • 55 deals out of 83 had VC participation
  • The average ticket size was $5.8 million (2.62x YoY increase)

Top Deals in 2021

  • Airlift – $85 million Series B
  • Bazaar – $30 million Series A
  • Tajir – $17 million Series A
  • QisstPay – $15 million Seed
  • Bykea – $13 million Series B

There’s more: An important topic covered by the report is the gender disparity in the startup ecosystem.

Female-funded startups account for only 1.4% of the total amount raised and 6.7% of the total deals from 2015 to 2021.

The highest amount raised at the seed stage by a female-founded startup is $3 million, while the highest amount is $15 million for a male-founded startup.

Zoom Out: The report also talks about the key policy reforms made in 2021, including: 

  • Digital Banking Policy (SBP)
  • Special Technology Zones Authority Act
  • SBP’s Raast (micropayment getaway)
  • National Freelancing Facilitation Policy (MoITT)

These reforms have played a pivotal role in catalyzing growth in the tech ecosystem, which can be seen in the amount raised by startups in 2021 alone. 

Big Picture: The Pakistan Startup Ecosystem Report 2021 covers the significant growth seen by the startup ecosystem. 

At the same time, it also talks about the improvements that need to be made to the regulatory environment to ensure that the growth seen in the past few years can be sustained.

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