Pakistan’s first local currency venture capital fund launched

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KARACHI: Pakistan is set to launch its first-ever venture capital fund denominated in the local currency, aiming to boost the country’s tech sector and support startups. Sai Venture Capital Private, a Lahore-based company, is spearheading this initiative, with plans to raise $10 million primarily from local investors.

According to a Bloomberg report, Ahsan Jamil, the co-founder of Sai Venture Capital, said the fund is currently 40% committed, and it recently received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). Jamil emphasised the importance of local investors, stating, “The ecosystem doesn’t develop until you have local smart capital.” This move comes at a time when foreign funders have shown decreased interest in Pakistan.

 

Sai Venture Capital has already made investments in companies that provide services to enterprises in developed markets, as well as startups focusing on sectors like health, agriculture, and education. In a related development, Federal Caretaker Minister for Information Technology and Telecom, Dr Umar Saif, has expressed a commitment to attracting funding with the launch of the ‘Pakistan Startup Fund.’ This initiative is expected to draw venture capitalists to Pakistan and foster a vibrant startup culture in the country.

Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA), Chairman, Muhammad Zohaib Khan, quoted Saif as saying that the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecom is actively working on establishing the Pakistan Startup Fund, expected to draw venture capitalists to Pakistan and promote the startup culture in the country. This fund will be established using resources from IGNITE, the National Technology Fund, which is supported by the federal government’s telecom industry revenues.

These initiatives represent significant steps toward encouraging local investment in Pakistan’s tech sector and supporting startups, contributing to the country’s economic growth and technological advancement.

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