3 Winners for Fintech Disrupt Challenge 2016 Announced

Karandaaz Pakistan and LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE) culminated FinTech Disrupt Challenge 2016 with the announcement of 3 winners.

The FinTech industry has seen an incredible growth around the world, with investments in this sector rising from $1.8 billion in 2010 to $5.2 billion in the first quarter of 2016 alone.

The FinTech industry in Pakistan is in its nascent stages and is faced with issues of access to finance and limited mentorship.

Recognizing the enormous potential of FinTechs to develop easily scalable solutions by leverage technology, FinTech Disrupt Challenge 2016 galvanized Pakistani startups to propose innovative products and services in areas like payments, financing, insurance, savings and investment for grants up to PKR 10 million.

The ultimate goal of the challenge is to build strong business relationships between key actors of this movement. Banks, government regulators, incubators, complementary actors from the FinTech industry assembled together at FDC2016 to hear 2 shortlisted startups present their ideas in front of a panel of experts.

Leading industry practitioners like Nadeem Hussain and Qasif Shahid gave keynote speeches at the event about “Unbundling Commercial Banks” and “Design Mechanics for Setting Up FinTech Operations in Pakistan” respectively.

FDC 2016 culminated with the announcement of 3 winners, Ricult Pakistan, Paysys and Publishex who won grants of up to PKR 10 million each.

The 3 finalists – chosen from a shortlist of 2 high caliber startups who presented their elevator pitches in round 1, were grilled in round 2 by six judges – Romana Abdullah, Asad Azfar, Amaar Ikhlas, Yasser Bashir, Naeem Zamindar and Mohsin Termezy Q.

Below are details for the winners

  • Paysys provides reliable and secure technology platforms that enable Banks, Telcos and Businesses to offer their customers a vast array of payment types, across multiple channels, anywhere at any time.
  • Publishex allows integration of over 100m Mobile subscribers to make payments online without requiring a bank account, credit card or having to go to carrier specific mobile wallets.
  • Ricult allows farmers to connect with online buyers and sell their produce at relatively better rates. It also allows farmers to take loans that can help them advance their farming and make them more financially stable.

In addition to receiving grants, the startups will also get ample support and mentorship from Karandaaz and its network. The competition was devised on the lines of internationally acclaimed Disrupt Challenge.

Ali Sarfraz, CEO of Karandaaz said, “FinTech Disrupt Challenge 2016 presented a unique opportunity for fresh startups and those in their idea phase to be imaginative and creative about complex problems in the financial sector. Through this initiative, we, at Karandaaz Pakistan, have provided much-needed impetus to FinTechs, validation of their ideas, financial support and mentorship. I congratulate the winning teams and look forward to seeing these FinTechs lead financial revolution in Pakistan.”

“Access to seed capital is a major impediment to startup growth in Pakistan and we are glad to partner with Karandaaz Pakistan to address this gaping hole in the ecosystem. I hope that others follow suit and are able to financially support young, innovative startups so they can grow into large businesses of tomorrow spurring economic and jobs growth,” said Khurram Zafar, Executive Director of LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship.

To support the Fintech Disrupt Challenge 2016 winners, TPS Private Limited has offered a 5 day intensive workshop covering payment systems and its integration for the winners. The scholarship would allow the winners to co-work with TPS engineers at its HQs in Karachi. They would be trained to integrate to IRIS MultiChannel Payment Platform using Open APIs and be able to get their Fintech innovation dreams become ready for an end-end Fintech disruption.

The challenge took place at LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship in Lahore.