California has 40 million people with a GDP of $3 trillion. It’s the 5th largest economy in the world.
We have been under lockdown since March 19 to help curb the coronavirus outbreak. Essential services are still open, such as grocery stores, hospitals, and banks.
Lockdowns are necessary to flatten the curve and save lives. And there is evidence that it is working.
Pakistan has 220 million people with a GDP of $300 billion. It’s the 64th largest economy in the world.
One of the four provinces of Pakistan, Sindh, wasn’t far behind California in instituting a lockdown on March 21. The rest of Pakistan was quick to follow with varying levels of success.
I was born in Karachi, Sindh’s largest city and now call San Francisco Bay Area home. It felt right to start this email by highlighting the two places near and dear to me.
Stay home if you can. Avoid large crowds if you have to go out. And Wash your hands.
These are in unprecedented times. The world has never been so united. And so unprepared.
PSA # 1
American Pakistan Foundation has put out a crowdsourced spreadsheet with a list of organizations/individuals providing or needing assistance. Please check it out, list your organization if you provide or need any help, and spread the word.
If there’s a similar spreadsheet or resource available specifically for Pakistan, please reach out to me via Twitter, Email, or WhatsApp, and I will update this post.
PSA # 2
KeepTruckin, Netsol, Cubix, etc., have started to lay off people. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many more layoffs coming.
Aatir Abdul Rauf, Director of Product Management & Marketing (B2B) at Bayt.com, has created a Google sheet for people who recently got laid off in the aftermath of the coronavirus lockdown. Job seekers can add their profiles, and companies can list job openings. Spread the word.
PSA # 3
On April 14 between 3:00 – 4:00 pm Pakistan Standard Time, The Nest I/O is hosting a panel discussion on “Startups & Investment – Impact of COVID19 in the Coming Months” featuring Misbah Naqvi, Managing Partner at i2i Ventures, Rabeel Warraich, Founder of Sarmayacar, Faisal Aftab, Managing Partner at Lakson Venture Capital and Faraz Khan, CEO of Seed Ventures (Pvt.) Ltd.
Zoom Meeting ID: 214-890-172
Meeting Link: https://zoom.us/j/214890172
News and Views
🚚 KeepTruckin lets go of almost one-fifth of its workforce (Freight Waves)
San Francisco-based KeepTruckin, with offices in Lahore and Islamabad, has laid off 18% of its global workforce. Around 50+ people in Pakistan were also laid-off.
😷 How Pakistan is Handling COVID-19 (LinkedIn)
Aatif Awan, Founder & Managing Partner at Indus Valley Capital, shares some insights that he previously shared with Indus Valley Capital investors.
🛒 Pakistan’s Tajir gets Y Combinator’s backing for its B2B marketplace that sells inventory to mom and pop stores (MENAbytes)
Tajir, a commercial B2B marketplace, graduated from YCombinator’s Winter 2020 batch.
🍽️ What Plate101 is doing for our family in the current COVID-19 Situation ( LinkedIn)
Islamabad-based home-cooked meals startup Plate 101 takes all the necessary precautions and allows customers to order “anything,” not just food, and have it delivered.
👩⚕️ Female doctors of Sehat Kahani fight Coronavirus using telemedicine (Business Recorder)
Karachi-based telemedicine startup Sehat Kahani plays its part during the health crisis by providing free counseling for three months.
🤦♂️ I know you are shitting bricks (LinkedIn)
An ill-informed, untimely, and tone-deaf hate post from a “jilted social impact founder to the VC class.”
💊 Pakistan VC Sarmayacar backs healthcare platform Dawaai’s funding (Deal Street Asia)
Dawaai, a Karachi-based online pharmacy startup, raised seed funding from Sarmayacar, Kingsway Capital, and Mentors Fund. The amount of funding wasn’t disclosed.