Pakistani startups raised $15 million in May

Zahid Lilani
Pakistani startups raised $15 million in May

Pakistani startups raised $15 million in disclosed funding across 6 deals in May, and one startup got acquired for an undisclosed amount.

This brings the total amount of funding raised by Pakistani startups in 2022 to $224 million across 28 deals.

2022 YTD Startup Funding and Deals - May
2022 YTD Startup Funding and Deals – May

Funding

  • Markaz raised $2.4 million in seed funding from Indus Valley Capital.
  • MEDZnMORE raised $11.5 million in Pre-Series A funding from Integra Partners, Nunc Gestion, Sturgeon Capital, Alta Semper, Al Touq Group, ACE & Company, Key Family Partners, Reflect Ventures, and Atlas Asset Management.
  • ezBike raised $1 million in pre-seed funding from i2i Ventures, Walled City, and GroundUp.
  • MoveIt, Trikl, and Instaworld each raised $150,000 in seed funding and graduated from SOSV’s Chinaccelerator program.

Acquisition

Layoffs

  • Airlift, Pakistan’s most well-funded startup, announced it would shut down operations in some cities, pull out of South Africa, and reduce its headcount by 31% across all markets (about 400 people).
  • SWVL, which recently went public with a considerable presence in Pakistan, announced layoffs, mainly in the UAE and Pakistan.

🚩 Some red flags

Big fish go after the small fish when the going gets tough. The purchase of Tez last month is one example. 

Acquisitions are rare in Pakistan’s startup ecosystem, but they are necessary for liquidity.

News of the acquisition was well received and celebrated, but the news about Airlift’s closures and layoffs soon rocked the ecosystem.

The reaction was mostly negative.

Doomsayers were out in force, armchair pundits rampaged, and “I told you so” pessimists galore.

But on the flip side, we learned that every startup in Pakistan is hiring. 

Don’t let a crisis go to waste, as they say. 

I think it’s smart of Airlift to announce layoffs now than simply shut down 9 months from now. Kinda sucks for SWVL, it went public a couple of months back and has been on a buying spree since.

Startups are hard. Layoffs are harder. And hindsight is 20/20. Let builders build. 

It’s better to try and fail than never to try.


📰 Learn

rali_cap launches a $30 million fund. And 1982 Ventures closes a $20 million seed fund. IT exports hit $2.2 billion. Problems plague crypto trading in Pakistan. AgriDunya raises pre-seed funding. YAP expands into Pakistan. Startup investments rarely land in Pakistan. Building a marketplace for Pakistani microbusinesses.


🧠 Read

Start-up culture is inspiring Pakistanis. The untapped potential of Pakistani startups. Is Pakistan going to have its first unicorn soon? Is Careem making a comeback?


🎙️ Listen

Hasid Malik and Iman Jamal talk about Creditbook on the Founder Stories podcast.


📺 Watch

To make sense of the current funding environment in Pakistan and to learn how startups are navigating, I spoke to Mubariz Siddiqui on the misaal podcast.

Give it listen or watch:

Scoop up Airlift talent while you can.


📰 Learn

rali_cap launches a $30 million fund. And 1982 Ventures closes a $20 million seed fund. IT exports hit $2.2 billion. Problems plague crypto trading in Pakistan. AgriDunya raises pre-seed funding. YAP expands into Pakistan. Startup investments rarely land in Pakistan. Building a marketplace for Pakistani microbusinesses.


🧠 Read

Start-up culture is inspiring Pakistanis. The untapped potential of Pakistani startups. Is Pakistan going to have its first unicorn soon? Is Careem making a comeback?


🎙️ Listen

Hasid Malik and Iman Jamal talk about Creditbook on the Founder Stories podcast.


📺 Watch

To make sense of the current funding environment in Pakistan and to learn how startups are navigating, I spoke to Mubariz Siddiqui on the misaal podcast.

Give it listen or watch:

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