In terms of innovation and social entrepreneurship, Pakistan has been vulnerable to change, yet ranks among the world’s major economies where the culture has been gaining momentum, according to the poll, conducted by Thomson Reuters Foundation. Another research conducted by the local accelerator Invest2Innovate (i2i) found that Pakistan’s entrepreneurial culture has been gaining momentum despite the ongoing challenges surrounding the country.
The startup culture in the country is driven by young professionals working in collaboration with startup accelerators and technology incubators. In a country where the majority of population is young, the future for social entrepreneurship and innovation seems promising.
Here we have compiled for you a comprehensive list of Pakistani startups that came out as strong players in 2016:
A google playstore lockscreen app that allows users to go through the contents and click on ads by providing them with free internet services and mobile credit. This is what makes the app special among its kind: it allows its users to select content of their own interest.A User can choose content from the broader range of topics included: current affairs; sports; entertainment and fashion.
According to the company, Slide has been downloaded more 1-5 million times since its launch in 2015. The app has raised $3.6 million in seed funding from Songhyun Investment, a South Korean VC firm. The start-up has raised a total investment of $4.6 million so far.
A beauty services platform for women to browse salon and spa services, review prices and book appointments online. It is Pakistan’s first start-up that is funded and operated entirely by women. It also provides opportunity to local industry players to create platform at a subscription for regional user base.
After winning the Startup Weekend Lahore, BeautyHooked successfully secured $280,000 in seed funding within a year of its launch. The startup is now operating internationally and aims at increasing the volume of business as well as to come up with convenient and compelling service for its customers.
A Lahore-based fin-tech start-up founded by banking and tech veterans. The company wants to optimize the financial well-being of individuals and increase the number of beneficiaries of its financial services by offering financial services through its app-based wallet products.
Finja secured seed funding of $1 million from Swedish venture capitalist firm Vostok Emerging Finance in 2016. The start-up expects to raise $500k too, of $1.5 million bridge-seeding program.
One of the first few Pakistani start-ups to offer IoT (internet of things) based products. The start-up offers services that allow people to control household electronics from PCs and smartphones. The Lahore-based startup offers WiFi-enabled electronic devices to replace the plug-in-sockets.
Smart Devices has been nominated for the World Summit Award (WSA) this year.
A popular online platform known for generating digital content – curated and original, for the younger niche of audience, raised an investment of $115,000 in seed funding. The investment has been provided by Fatima Ventures, a subordinate of the Fatima Group. MangoBaaz, thus, has now become the country’s first emerging media startup which is backed by a leading venture capital firm that invests in disruptive technology and startups.
Find My Adventure
Pakistan’s first online end-to-end tourism portal that allows tourists explore, compare and book trips across Pakistan.
Within six months of its launch, Find My Adventure has facilitated 750 unique travelers. It receives an average of 400 daily users on its website.
A special education start-up that uses Microsoft’s Kinect technology and augmented reality to design games that help children with mental illness and physical disabilities.
WonderTree has secured an award in GIST TECH-I startup competition hosted by Stanford University, U.S. and also won gold at the APICTA 2016.
Pakistan’s first women online shopping platform; designed to operate in a wide spectrum of entrepreneurship. At Sheops, women can showcase their entrepreneurial skills, buy and sell crafts, clothes, beauty and fashion products, gift items and other homemade goods. The community had over 1500 business transactions taking place per month within first month of its launch in May 2016. Going beyond a Facebook community, Sheops has now launched its online portal (http://www.sheops.com/) where home-based women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses sel their products and services.
A virtual agri market initiative, aims at connecting farmers with consumers. The startup provides a platform that makes it easier for consumers to purchase vegetables, fruits, and seafood at affordable rates.
Currently incubated at NEST I/O, Mandi Express made it to this year’s Asia Pacific ICT Alliance Awards (APICTA) Awards and took home the gold medal in competition.
A Karachi-based home repair and service solutions provider, and the highest valued startup at the Nest I/O. Founded in May 2015, the startup was the first to secure inaugural seed investments led by Crescent Ventures as the lead investor and was followed by the Indus Entrepreneur (TiE) Islamabad Chapter and DotZero Ventures.
The startup offers much needed professional services for household and commercial sectors.
A provider of loyalty program and engagement services, the Karachi based start-up helps customers get loyalty rewards from different businesses in the country.
Founded in January 2015, PerkUp raised PKR 1.5 Crore in seed funding round led by DotZero Ventures and followed by Crescent Ventures. Considering that it’s only been a year since it started its operation, the success is overwhelming.
A consumer relationship management service provider for Mobile repairing businesses. The startup secured seed funding of US$ 40,000 from Revamp Wholesale. Revamp is a local retailer headed by Anant Handa, who is also a co-founder of RepairDesk and responsible for product strategy and marketing.
Launched in 2014, the startup has been focused on developing cloud-based services and creates Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions, designed to meet the specific needs of local small-scale mobile phone repair franchise.
A health and life style e-commerce platform delivering a wide range of products – mainly household items, beauty products and other personal belongings. Launched earlier this year, Well.pk secured USD $1 Million in their initial seed funding from investors Nadeem Hussain and Noor Abid.
An online fruits and vegetables delivery startup aiming to deliver fresh produce (fruits and veggies) to the household and commercial consumers, incubated at LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship. The start-up announced closing its seed funding round from the owners of a large Pakistani retail tycoon. The deal valued Sabzi.pk at USD 7.5 Million, which was being called as the highest value ever attained by an LCE alumnus for seed round funding.