Note # 006

Zahid Lilani
Note # 006

Right when it seemed that the startup ecosystem in Pakistan had gained momentum within the diaspora, things are coming to a screeching halt.

Last month, right before Coronavirus went mainstream, I attended the Pakistan Tech Summit in San Mateo, California showcasing Pakistani startups. The event was extremely well attended with an overflowing crowd.

The premise of the event was to connect the Pakistani diaspora with the larger startup ecosystem in Pakistan. The mood was optimistic and the crowd was energetic.

To keep the optimism going, another highly publicized event, Invest in Pakistan, was going to take place this coming Saturday in the Valley. Unfortunately, it’s been postponed until September due to the Coronavirus scare.

It seems that the world economy will take a nosedive in the short term or at least until the scare subsides.

During economic downturns, the suffering is disproportionate and indiscriminate. And the ones that suffer the most are the ones that have the most to lose.

Fasten your seatbelts, turbulence ahead.

01 – News and Views

⚔️ Start me up: Young Pakistanis face an uphill climb in tech innovation (Yahoo Finance)
Are incubators and the government ready to support Pakistan’s foray into tech entrepreneurship?

👋 The Pakistani startup spectrum: Wapistanis and local survivors (MENAbytes)
A plea for more deal flow given that there are is now more money than investable startups.

🎮 Sarmayacar bets on mobile gaming by investing in Revolving Games(Dawn)
Last year Sarmayacar made a seed investment in Revolving Games, next year it will be launching its first game.

🏦 The State Bank’s silent payments revolution (The Profit)
SBP is finally taking steps to bring Pakistan into the digital era.

📦 Bookme.pk Launches Pakistan’s Fastest Inter-City Delivery Service (ProPakistani)
The largest ticketing platform in Pakistan ventures into inner-city delivery.

🤐 Facebook, Google and Twitter Rebel Against Pakistan’s Censorship Rules (NY Times)
Does anyone remember the YouTube ban? How did that go?

02 – Funding

🥭 Pakistani fresh produce and grocery delivery startup MandiExpress raises $725,000 to expand across the country (MENAbytes)
MandiExpress, a Karachi-based grocery delivery startup, raised seed funding from Lakson Investments Venture Capital.

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