Pakistani startups have been breaking records since the beginning of 2021, with venture capitalist investment surpassing $200 million in less than eight months.
The amount is much more than the $66 million collected by the fresh generation of Pakistani companies in the whole year of 2020.
The investment in 2021 reached a new high when Airlift Technologies Pvt., a Lahore-based online shopping delivery company, received $85 million in the biggest single private financing round in Pakistani history.
Airlift received historic financing in Series B fundraising led by Harry Stebbings of 20VC and Josh Buckley of Buckley Ventures Ltd, with participation from former Y Combinator president Sam Altman.
By the end of the year, Airlift plans to expand to 15 Pakistani cities, up from the current eight. It’s also on a hiring spree, with plans to expand its core team to 400 employees by the end of next year. The company intends to enter a rapidly expanding international market in about three months.
Experts and startup executives predict that in 2021, investment in the growing startup ecosystem will exceed $300 million.
In the first half of 2021, Pakistani entrepreneurs raised more than $125 million, demonstrating investors’ increasing trust in the nation, which is focused on digitization under the PTI administration.
The E-commerce industry is at the top of the list, having received almost $42 million in 11 transactions in the first half of the year, with an investment of $11.2 million in 2020.
The startups raised $13.5 million in January, according to Forbes Middle East. Investors’ attention remained focused on Fintech-based initiatives between February and April, resulting in a total investment of $42.6 million.
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