MyTM, the first-ever startup from Pakistan won the Supernova pitching competition at GITEX Futurestars held in Dubai in the ‘Creative Economy’ category, announced that it has secured $6.9 million in its seed round.
Investors participated from Saudi Arabia, Canada, Mauritius, the UK and Pakistan. Notable investors included My Petroleum (My Group), 100 Ventures, Loyal VC, United Seven Hills Venture, and PEX International.
Back in 2019, MyTM had also raised 30 million Yen in its pre-seed round from a Tokyo stock listed company named Rentracks Japan, said a news release. This makes the total funding raised by MyTM to $7.2 million.
Speaking on the occasion, CEO MyTM, Zain Farooq said, “Promoting the Prime Minister’s vision of a Digital Pakistan, this investment will enable MyTM to acquire an NBFC (non-banking financial company), hire new talent, and create a network of cash-rich agents in the country.”
“Additionally, MyTM would be enabling digital payments providing commerce, financial, and banking services at 6000 locations across Pakistan by Q4 of this year,” he added. MyTM’s banking partner and settlement bank are NRSP Microfinance Bank.
To secure this round, Ignite, National Incubation Center Islamabad, and Founder Institute Pakistan have been the key drivers to help MyTM with strategizing its business plan, go to market strategy, and validation internationally.
Chief Executive Officer Ignite, Asim Shahryar Husain, said, “Pakistan is home to the fifth largest youngest population in the World while having only one bank branch and one ATM for every 15,000 individuals.”
“It is a great growth opportunity for a fintech startup like MyTM. That is why Ignite sponsored MyTM along with some other NIC startups to connect them with potential customers and investors at GITEX 2021, he said.
It’s great to see the results of our efforts now. Ignite will continue sponsoring NIC startups for international startup events in future to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of Pakistan.
2021 had been a remarkable year for Pakistani startups where investment in Pakistani startups grew by more than five times over 2020.
A funding frenzy startup scene was seen in 2021 as investments crossed $300 million after two e-commerce companies raised funds.
Bookme, the largest online travel and ticketing platform in Pakistan, had raised $7.5 million in its Series A round. Bagallery, a beauty and fashion startup, separately raised $4.5 million in a similar round. Both rounds were co-led by Zayn Capital, Lakson Venture Capital and Hayaat Global, Bloomberg reported.
Pakistan had seen more money flow into its nascent technology sector during 2021 than in the previous six years combined. Many global venture capital firms had invested in Pakistan for the first time including Kleiner Perkins, an early investor in Google and Amazon.com Inc.
Pakistan’s e-commerce industry is just picking up with online retail accounting for about two percent of gross domestic product, compared with 20 percent in Indonesia.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Daraz Group, the largest e-commerce company in Pakistan, expects to double its retail volume every year over the next five years, sustaining the pace of the past four years.
Fashion is the largest segment within e-commerce and Bagallery founders believe there will be as many as four unicorns in Pakistan in the next seven years.
2022 looks even better and investment forecast for this year is at least $500 million of investment in Pakistani startups by end of the year.
On the other hand, Pakistan’s information technology (IT) exports registered a growth of 35.77 percent during the first six months (July-December) of the current financial year 2021-22.
The ICT export remittances, including telecom, computer, and information services for the period July-December FY2021-22 have surged to $1.302 billion at a growth rate of 35.77 percent in comparison to the $959 million during July-December FY2020-21.
In December 2021, the ICT export remittances were recorded $251 million at a growth rate of 28.72 percent when compared to $195 million reported for the month of December 2020 also, $30 million higher than export remittances during the previous month November 2021.
The net exports for the period July-December FY2021-22 are $972 million which is 74.65 percent of $1.302 billion in exports. Last year, for the same period the net exports were $681 million which was 71.01 percent of $959 million in exports.