Note # 015


📛 021 Disrupt

I was born in Karachi. The last time I was there, Musharraf was in power; 2006 to be specific. Since then, there have been two instances when I felt like going back for a visit. One, after I discovered Irfan Junejo’s vlogs, and two, after witnessing last year’s 021 Disrupt – Pakistan’s leading tech conference with entrepreneurial zeal.

Before the pandemic, yearly starting in 2017, the who’s who of tech converged in Karachi for this premier tech conference. This year, the conference was virtual due to the pandemic allowing me, and many others all over the world, to attend. It lasted three days and was free to attend.

After the conference, a press release went out with some major announcements. I am copy/pasting it here with some modifications and links to the resources:

  • Indus Valley Capital launched applications for the Indus Valley Wapistani Track, a special program for returning Pakistanis.
  •, the Islamabad-based hospitality startup, raised $1,000,000 in Pre-Series A funding from Lakson Investments Venture Capital.
  • Fatima Gobi Ventures announced their investment in Safepay and Invest Hub. The amount wasn’t disclosed.
  • i2i Ventures and Sarmayacar launched Early-Stage Investor’s Guide to Pakistan.
  • 10Pearls acquired TwoDots, a Karach-based design studio.

Given the circumstances on the ground, this virtual conference was wonderfully executed with an impressive lineup of speakers. Kudos to the entire Nest I/O team for proving once again that they are relentless and can keep raising the bar against all odds.

Note # 015
Credit: The Nest I/O

I am looking forward to someday attending this conference in person. And binging on anday wala burger while in Karachi.

💰 Funding (amount disclosed)

Clicky, the Rawalpindi-based e-commerce startup, raised $700,000 in Pre-Series A investment from Asif Keshodia and other Angel investors.

Roomy, the Islamabad-based hospitality startup, raised $1,000,000 in Pre-Series A funding from Lakson Investments Venture Capital.

📰 Learn

Trucking startup Trella expands into Pakistan. We have our first ever VC drama courtesy of Profit and Karavan over leaked information. Proposed social media rules will have a devastating effect on those who earn a living from it. Pakistan ranks 6 with 51.5% growth in open-source contributions in 2020 according to Github. The Big tech writes a scathing letter to the PM of Pakistan. SBP reports a significant increase in digital payment transactions. Tech exports have the potential to reach $10 billion in the next 10 years. Who says we don’t pay for content?

📜 Read

Jawwad Farid on the three takeaways from Investor Round Table during 021 Disrupt. Shehryar Hydri is looking for crème de la crème of Pakistani tech talent. Adam Dawood shares his personal experience in dealing with e-commerce in Pakistan and explains how COD rules can reduce rejection at the doorstep. Uzair Younus believes that when it comes to innovation, Pakistan is on the wrong track. Nadeem Hussain discusses forward-looking regulators, financial inclusion, and unbundling the banks.

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