The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has launched a $225 million platform to back startups in Pakistan and other African, Middle Eastern, and Central Asian countries.
The platform will build on IFC’s efforts to build tech ecosystems in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Pakistan, as announced by IFC through initiatives such as the IFC Startup Catalyst Program.
The platform will be sponsored by an additional $50 million from the International Development Association’s Private Sector Window’s Blended Finance Facility, which helps de-risk investments in poor countries like Pakistan. Furthermore, the IFC will raise funds from other development institutions and the private sector to assist entrepreneurs and technology companies in those countries.
The IFC’s $225 million funding platform will go to venture capital firms and companies that are already addressing development challenges through technological innovations in areas such as climate, health care, education, agriculture, e-commerce, and others.
According to IFC’s Managing Director Makhtar Diop, the platform will help innovative tech companies in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Pakistan expand during a time of capital shortage and create scalable investment opportunities.
Pakistan can unlock up to $59.7 billion in annual economic value by 2030, equivalent to about 19 percent of the country’s GDP. The new IFC platform will support venture capital ecosystems and invest in early-stage enterprises addressing development challenges through innovations in a wide assortment of areas including but not limited to climate, health care, education, agriculture, e-commerce, and others.