Sai Venture Capital Launches Rupee-Denominated Fund to Boost Local Startups

Sai Venture Capital Pvt. has launched Pakistan’s first venture capital fund priced in Pakistani Rupee in seven years, targeting the local tech industry and startups, reported Bloomberg.

So far, Sai VC has made a few investments over the last year, focusing on firms that provide services to enterprises in developed markets as well as startups in health, agriculture, and education. According to Ahmed Uzair, a partner at law firm AUC Law and a Sai adviser, this is the first domestic VC fund since 2016.

Co-founder Ahsan Jamil said in an interview that Sai Venture Capital is looking for $10 million from local investors. The Lahore-based fund is currently 40 percent committed and gained permits from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan last month.

According to Invest2Innovate data, Pakistan’s startup space has raised little more than $700 million since 2021, with the majority of it being foreign cash. The PKR has had one of its most tumultuous periods, falling by more than 40 percent during the same period, prompting businesses to pursue explosive growth to earn returns in US dollar terms, Jamil commented.

He added that an ecosystem does not develop until you have local smart capital. As foreign money has dwindled, he believes it is critical to have local investors.

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