Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) and its tech innovation arm, Ignite (National Technology Fund), on Tuesday, launched the first national investment platform, Pak Impact Invest.
The event was attended by Federal Minister for IT and Telecom, Syed Amin Ul Haque, Federal Secretary of IT & Telecom, Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, CEO Ignite, Asim Shahryar Husain, senior officials of the IT Ministry, Ignite and Accelerate Prosperity.
Accelerate Prosperity (AP) is a joint initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Industrial Promotion Services (IPS).
As a part of the MoU between AP and Ignite, AP will assist MoITT and Ignite as the technical advisory partner for co-designing and launching Pak Impact Invest, which will be Pakistan’s first national investment platform. It will open up new avenues for investment in startups graduating from Ignite Funded National Incubation Centres (NICs) and other startups of Pakistan in the future. Accelerate Prosperity raises investments from public sector programs, private sector groups, investment houses, venture funds, and philanthropists.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister of IT and Telecom, Syed Amin ul Haque, said that one of the key challenges of our new technology-based startups is access to early-stage and growth-stage capital. “I am sure that this initiative will bridge the gap in an efficient manner. This Ignite – AP partnership looks promising to solve the financing challenges faced by our startups,” he added.
Haque said that the overall environment in the country is improving. Bykea, one of the startups accelerated at NIC Karachi, has raised $21 million of Series B Funding. Altogether, 122 deals worth $178 million were made from 2015-2020 in Pakistani Startups, including another 19 deals, with undisclosed amounts. This brings the total deals to count up 141.
Federal Minister for IT and Federal Secretary for IT appreciated the collaborative efforts of Ignite and AP for entering into a meaningful partnership that will create the right leeway for young tech companies to scale up.
CEO Ignite stated that so far, 272 startups have graduated from Ignite’s National Incubation Centers with a total investment commitment of Rs 8 billion and cumulative revenue of Rs. 3 billion. These nascent companies have created more than 100,000 new jobs, and these numbers quantify the achievements of our 5 incubators in a short period. Ignite is planning vertical incubators and accelerators in the future to boost the startup ecosystem of Pakistan,” he added.
The platform will be the first of its kind and would aim to bridge the gap between entrepreneurs and national and international investors of all types, including commercial and impact investors, donors, and philanthropists.
MoITT and Ignite will invite various investors, donors, and other investment/financial institutions to participate in the platform to consider business opportunities for financing, investments, supply chain commitments, networking, etc. It will be open to qualifying startups from all NICs and AP incubated and accelerated businesses across Pakistan.
Under Pak Impact Invest, the first grand national pitching session of the top 25-30 startups selected from all NICs and AP accelerated companies will be held in the last week of March 2021.