Note # 001

Note # 001

01 – Intro

My name is Zahid and I have been following the startup scene in Pakistan since 2013. In my newsletter, I cover the ecosystem with an outsider’s perspective and insider’s knowledge. I hope to inform, educate and at times, amuse you with my insights.

If you haven’t already, please sign up below.

02 – Context

A lot of you receiving this newsletter signed up a long time ago. I never got to sending the first newsletter because I wanted to wait until I got to 50 subscribers.

I am still at 24, actually make that 25, if you count my 7-year old son.

There are a couple of you who signed up last month, thank you. You are the real reason I abandoned the self-restricting goal.

03 – News

💰 Pakistan is done with loans, it wants and needs investments pronto (Wamda)
”According to McKinsey, there is only $0.06 per capita of VC money in Pakistan per year, while Bangladesh has $0.07 per capita, and Nigeria has $0.18 per capita.” Pakistan can use a lot more cents.

📶 Wifigen launches an equity crowdfunding campaign (Wefunder)
”Enabling brick-and-mortar retailers to gain and retain customers through FREE WiFi.” First Pakistani startup to use equity crowdfunding.

🚗 Qatar blocks Uber’s acquisition of Careem (MENAbytes)
“Qatar’s competition authority has blocked Uber’s proposed $3.1 billion acquisition of Careem.” It will be interesting to see if Pakistan does the same given the deal stifles competition.

04 – Funding

📦, an on-demand logistics startup, raised $7.8 million (MENAbytes)
This is a big deal if it is true. My doubts stem from its refusal to disclose “U.S based” investors and the checkered past of the management team. Hit reply and let me know if you think I am being overly cynical.

06 – Reverse Brain Drain

07 – On the Pod

Waqas Ali and Sidra Qasim (Markhor) talk to Shareen Pathak on Making Marketing podcast about how they plan to keep that personal touch as they grow their 2nd shoe startup Atoms. In August, the couple raised $8.1 million in Series A funding to take Atoms to new heights.

In case you didn’t know, Markhor was the first Pakistani startup to be accepted to the coveted YCombinator – the Harvard of startup accelerators. Waqas and Sidra have had quite a journey from Okara to Silicon Valley. The podcast touches on some of that and where the duo wants to go next.

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