Three months into 2021, we review the health of startup deal flow for Q1 in Pakistan’s entrepreneurship ecosystem. So far, it looks like a promising year for startup investment and here is a few reasons why:
1. Fintech is going strong as of last year – with a spike in number of deals in the sector (6 deals) in 2020 as well as a YOY increase in the average ticket size (from initial $522k in 2016 to $3.6M in 2021).
2. Investments in the fintech sector started in 2016, with Finja’s $1M Seed stage funding. Ever Since, the biggest amounts in investment in fintech have included Finja ($9M), Sadapay ($7.2M), Finja ($3M), Finja ($1.5M), & Tez Financials ($1.1M).
3. Increased interest from International Investors (VCs, angels, & others) indicated by an increase rate of 16% in total amount invested each year compared to 2020. From 2015-2021 international investors have funnelled roughly $110M+ into Pakistani startups with a record breaking $48M invested in 2020. This year international investors have invested $14.7M, out of which 93% is attributed to International VCs.
4. Female-founded startups might have the best year yet. 2 deals by female founded startups in Q1 alone, as opposed to 3 throughout the year in 2020. The highest number of deals by female founded startups from 2015 – 2021 stands at 4. Similarly, 4 female cofounded startups have raised in Q1 this year alone, while the highest total number of deals raised by female cofounded startups a year stands at 8.
5. Q1 (2021) saw two record-breaking seeds rounds – i.e. Sadapay ($7.2M) & Bazaar ($6.5M) – both with International VCs. They are the 3rd biggest and 4th biggest seed rounds in MENA history.
Head over to our Startup Deal Flow Tracker on our website to see details of each of these deals and more: Access Deal Flow Tracker – Invest2Innovate