KARACHI: “Pakistan can be a nurturing ground for technology startups to help address economic and employment challenges in the country and venture capitalists have a major role to play in bringing about a digital revolution,” said Ali Samir Oosman, CEO TPL e-Ventures during a workshop on venture capital, organized by TPL e-Ventures.
Ali Samir, who is also a member of SECP’s Committee on FINTECH, informed the participants that the future of Venture Capital (VC) in Pakistan is very bright and we are already seeing deals where both local and foreign investors have deployed capital in Pakistani startups.
A number of startups are making their mark locally and globally on the technology landscape which is a good omen not only for venture capitalists but for the government as well.
Internet penetration in Pakistan has grown from 2.6% to 27.5% in under 5 years with 40,000 new subscribers per day. In addition to this, he added, Pakistan has over 100 million phone subscribers, 60 million 3G/4G subscribers, and 35 million social media users.
“This increase in internet penetration has made the country one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world with an average growth rate of 8.2% against India’s 5.3% and Vietnam’s 4.8%,” he said.
VC is the riskiest asset class but it can also be extremely lucrative. Startups drive innovation and disrupt industries, making lives easier and processes more efficient.
Venture capitalists typically focus their investment efforts using one or more criteria such as the industry segment that startup is operating in (mobile, biotech, SaaS, FinTech, etc.), stage of the company (early-stage seed or Series A rounds, or later stage growth rounds with companies that have achieved meaningful revenues and traction); and geography (e.g. Pakistan, Emerging Markets, Silicon Valley, New York, etc.).
TPL e-ventures was incorporated in November 2017 as a venture capital investor with special focus on Pakistani tech or tech enabled companies. “Our vision is to build a world class platform known for catalyzing high potential, high impact entrepreneurs,” said Ali.
TPL e-Ventures has invested in KarloCompare.com.pk and TelloTalk. Karlo Compare is a financial services aggregator and travel platform which works with corporations and direct consumers for travel packages and offers a power comparison engine which allows customers to apply for auto-loans, credit cards, personal loans and insurance.
TelloTalk is Pakistan’s first home grown hyper-localized messaging platform that allows people to communicate, share content, transfer payments and transact with businesses.