It’s been a landmark year for Pakistani startups who have proved their mettle in terms of fundraising, with total invested capital year-to-date close to $290 million. This is bigger than all previous years combined, and by a margin. Much of the money has obviously been bagged by a handful of players, with around 55 per cent of the dollar value going to five companies.
At the same time, foreign investors — some of the most notable ones — are increasingly taking interest in Pakistan as evidenced by Kleiner Perkins, a giant in the venture capital (VC) world with over 700 exits, leading Tajir’s Series A. The market is so hot these days that not only veteran founders but also financiers are scratching their heads. Maybe there is some change in fundamentals at play behind this shift in sentiment about the country though that doesn’t really seem to be the case if one regularly follows the economic, or even political, news.
What exactly is happening then? Well, for starters, the clichéd, three-pointer pitch, (which has been overdone by the way) based on the population under 30 years of age, broadband connections and smartphone users, is appealing at the surface. And from the looks of it, no one is really interested beneath the surface. This has led to Fomo on the part of investors that it’s time to act or miss a great opportunity.
Forget proper due diligence, are some of the most notable VCs unable (or otherwise uninterested) to do even a few Google searches before writing sizable...
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