Dr. Umar Saif launches ‘Pakistan Startup Fund’
ISLAMABAD (9-1-2024): Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunication Dr. Umar Saif has launched the first-ever “Pakistan Startup Fund”.
The launching ceremony of Pakistan Startup Fund (PSF) was held here on Tuesday.
The Pakistan Startup Fund aims at to catalyse venture investments in Pakistan and position Pakistani startups as significant players on the global stage.
Ignite NationalTechnology Fund will take charge as executing body, ensuring transparency through an independent steering body overseeing the operations.
While addressing the inaugural ceremony, Dr. Umar Saif said that the government will allocate up to Rs. 2 billion for Pakistan Startup Fund every year.
The Fund is structured as an equity-free capital to help close a VC round for a startup, he said, adding that Pakistan Startup Fund is designed to help a startup raise its first external investment.
Dr Umar Saif said that if there is a startup in Pakistan and a foreign venture capitalist (VC) is evaluating the startup for for a $1million investment, the VC only needs to invest $ 700,000- the Pakistan Startup Fund will give a grant of $300,000 to help close the round, he maintained.
He went on to say that PSF is designed to lower the risk for international investors to invest in Pakistani startups. “With PSF we hope to create a value of at least Rs. 50 billion per year in the startup ecosystem in Pakistan”, he said.
Dr. Umar Saif said the Fund represents a transformative initiative in the realm of entrepreneurship and technological innovation. By focusing on the burgeoning potential within the country’s startup ecosystem, the Pakistan Startup Fund will accelerate economic growth and innovation in the country.
The Fund will underwrite the risk of Venture Capitalists by providing equity free grants to the startups as the last cheque in an investment round. It will not only provide financial support by also foster an environment of innovation and entrepreneurship vital for the success and scalability of startups.
He said this event presented a unique opportunity to venture capitalists to delve deeper into Pakistan Startup Fund. Dr. Umar Saif noted that the Pakistan Startup Fund will pave way for exciting collaborations and open doors to more innovative and prosperous future.
Dr. Umar Saif said that the Pakistan Startup Fund will connect innovative startups, venture capitalists and investors. He said that Ministry of IT and Telecommunication will continue supporting technological innovation and entrepreneurship. About 800 million dollars were invested in Pakistani startups in last four years, he noted.
He said the network of eight National Incubation Centers (NICs) are supporting startups in the country, and over 4,000 startups are indicative of a vibrant entrepreneurial landscape.
The ceremony was attended by local and international venture capitalists, investors, ambassadors, heads of know tech companies, and senior officers of Ministry of IT & Telecom and its attached departments.
The event was attended by Secretary IT Mr. Hasan Nasir Jamy, Additional Secretary Ms. Ayesha Humira Chaudhry, Member IT Syed Junaid Imam, officials of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), diplomats, Mr. Rabeel Warraich of Sarmayacar, Mr. Shehryar Hyderi – Endeavour, Mr. Faisal Aftab – Zayn VC, Mr. Adeel Shahid – Arzan Capital, Mr. Ahsan Jamil – Sai Ventures, Mr. William Bao Bean – Orbit Startups, Mr. Johanna Kruger – Aurem Wealth Solution, Ms.
Romanna Dada – PwC Ventures, Mr. Marcel Dridje – Sophia Business Angels, Mr. Ismail Khaleel – PlugnPlay and Mr. Michael Gale – The Entrepreneurs Group Limited, and prominent personalities from IT & Telecom sector.