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Pakistan’s Startup Ecosystem: Q3 2023

Jehan | Oct 02 2023
Pakistan’s Startup Ecosystem: Q3 2023

Small Victories! Pakistani Startups Raised $1.6 Million More Than Q2

Yeah, there is a hint of sarcasm there. Can you see it? Anyway, here’s who raised (Note: these only include disclosed deals):

  1. Taleemabad: $2.3 million (Seed) 
  2. Paismo: $1.3 million (Seed)
  3. Zyp Technologies: $1.2 million (Seed)
  4. Elphinstone: $1 million (Seed)
  5. Truckistan: $1 million (Seed)

The total funding raised in Pakistan for the third quarter came up to $6.8 million. This was only just a little over the $5.2 million raised by startups in Q2 of this year. Still, this might be a sign of hope for an upward trend to close out the year, however small. 

Sectors Raising the Most Funds

EdTech led the board with the highest raise through a single deal with Taleemabad’s seed round. This was followed by the fintech deals closed by Paismo at $1.3 million and Elphinstone at $1 million. Logistics trailed behind with Truckistan closing a deal of around $1 million.

Other Notable Movements

Opay International, a Norway based mobile-platform received the State Bank’s approval to acquire Finja’s Electronic Money Institutions (EMI) License. Finja’s total implied valuation also dropped to $1.2M. This is considered to have played a role in the decision to sell. 


  1. MedznMore, after raising $11.5M in 2022, has shut down.
  2. Jugnu also announced the shut down of its core operations, a year after raising $22.5 million. 

Government Initiatives in the Startup Ecosystem

As is expected, the governement wiggles around, trying to offset the effects of the economy on the startup ecosystem:

The Prime Minister’s Freelancers and Venture Capital Initiative launched on July 25

The initiative encouraged the IT ministry to formulate policy framework for the sector in light of the need to increase incubation centers across the country. They also pressed for an increased focus on exports. The government allocated PKR 5 billion to the IT sector, PKR 2 billion for Venture Capital, PKR 1 billion for training programs, and PKR 1 billion for the IT endowment fund.

The second round of the National Innovation Award was also concluded at the Initiative. The 50 winners chosen were then connected to investors.

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) Launched the Innovator Seed Fund (ISF) for Startups

The subsequent competition had over 65 startups competing from different Pakistani universities. The winning cohort included 28 startups that were each awarded grants of up to PKR 10 million each.

The Government also Cracked Down on Digital Lending Apps

The Ministry of IT and Telecom blocked 43 apps involved with unregistered loans. In conjunction with these activities, the FIA also arrested 9 people.