Funding in Pakistani startups exceeds $200 million in 2021


Pakistani startups continue to achieve milestones since the start of 2021 as funding from venture capitalists has crossed $200 million in less than eight months of the running year.

The figure is far more than what the new crop of Pakistani startups generated in the whole of 2020 when they raised only $66 million.

The 2021 investment touched a new high after Lahore-based online shopping delivery firm, Airlift Technologies Pvt., has secured $85 million in the largest single private funding round in Pakistani history.

With involvement from former Y Combinator president Sam Altman, Airlift raised historic funding in Series B funding headed by Harry Stebbings of 20VC and Josh Buckley of Buckley Ventures Ltd.

Airlift now intends to expand to 15 Pakistani cities by the end of the year, up from the existing eight. It’s also on a recruiting frenzy, with ambitions to increase its core staff to 400 people by the end of next year. In approximately three months, the firm plans to join a growing market abroad.

Startup executive and experts hope funding in the emerging startups ecosystem in 2021 to cross $300 million.

Pakistani startups raked in over $125 million in the first half of 2021, showing the growing confidence of investors in the country which is focusing on digitalization under the PTI government.

The E-commerce sector is at the top of the list with bagging over $42 million across 11 deals in the first half of the running year while the investment in 2020 recorded as $11.2 million.

According to Forbes Middles East, the startups raised $13.5 million in January this year. With Fintech-based projects remained in focus of the investors, total funding in February to April stood at $42.6 million.

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