3rd edition of Pakistan’s leading entrepreneurial and innovation conference, 021Disrupt, was organized by The Nest I/O on Nov 2nd at a hotel in Karachi, to connect native and international investors, innovators, and tech pioneers with the entrepreneurial community of Pakistan.
The conference wasn’t solely a chance to exchange innovative ideas and insights however also provided investment and partnership opportunities.
This year 021Disrupt attracted a footprint of 1100+ entrepreneurs, investors, influencers, professionals and students attending the conference from everywhere Pakistan. The speaker line up enclosed international voices from the USA, UAE, Norway, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and different countries. More than 600 startups from across the country engaged with 23 investors in over 200+Office Hours.
There were major announcements at the conference which will influence the investment climate within the coming years.
“The startup ecosystem is ready now! nobody can hold us back, as long as we support each other and grow with every other” commented Jehan Ara, President P@SHA, and founder of The Nest I/O.
Investment announcements at 021Disrupt 2019:
- Fatima Gobi Ventures closed the largest Series A funding of Pakistan of $12 million in Airlift, a mass-transit ride-hailing service;
- TelloTalk, Pakistan’s 1st native messenger, closed their Seed Funding round of $1.2 million led by Spark Labs and multiple global investors who are financing in Pakistan for the first time;
- Swvl announced that it might invest $25 million in Pakistan within the next 2 years to mobilize 500,000 commuters, create 10,000 jobs each year, fund pre-seed startups operating in the mobility space, and build an off-shore support workplace
- PriceOye closed a seed funding round of $450,000 led by Fatima Ventures, Artistic Ventures, and Kinetico;
- Oman Technology Fund closed Seed Funding round of $100,000 in Queno, an ed-tech startup that gives a communication answer for parents and teachers;
- Find My Adventure proclaimed its acquisition of K-Town Rooms and the launch of 100 FMA Rooms across Pakistan with a flat rent;
- HBL COO Saghir Mufti proclaimed its Open Banking initiative and the launch of an Investment Fund for FinTech Startups by January 2020.
- Rabeel Warraich, Founder Sarmayacar also launched the Venture Capital Association of Pakistan (VCAP), an association of 12 VCs fueling the investment landscape of Pakistan.
The conference hosted breakthrough talks and panel discussions addressing numerous themes of engineering, technology, investments, user style, civic innovation, quality and transport, business and agritech. Isfandiyar Shaheen from NetEquity networks shared a tangible attempt to bring the web to each human in Pakistan by Apr 2023.
Usman Riaz from Mano Animation Studios shared his journey on building Pakistan’s 1st hand-drawn animation studio. Mudassir Sheika Co-Founder of Careem derived back the steps of Careem’s journey and beat all odds by partnering up with native businesses and growing as a brand. Pakistan is currently Careem’s largest network with half a million captains and over 3 million users. His speach was inspirational and was followed by a vigorous Question & Answer session.
Panels at 021Disrupt 2019:
The cash to Scale panel hosted native and international investors who have invested in Pakistan and explored the investment climate of the native ecosystem.
021Disrupt also hosted the largest mobility & Transport panel putt all the competition alongside disruptors from major ride-hailing services as well as RoshniRides, Careem, Swvl, Bykea, and Airlift. During a houseful session, Wasim Akram, Shaneira Akram, Shehzad Roy, Aminah Sheikh, and Hina Khawaja engaged in a conversation moderated by Shehryaar Taseer to use the soft power of influence and project a positive image of Pakistan and to make a social impact.
The primary movers of the fintech industry in Pakistan also mapped the path to the future of fintech within the Banking on Fintech Panel.
“If we are to make sure that Pakistan is going to become one amongst the best startup destinations, we are going to need to do it together, and collaboration is wherever we’ve got to focus. 021Disrupt is our try at doing that. We started it not to hold another conference, but to have conversations, to decide what’s necessary, to bring relevant individuals into the country, and to facilitate the expansion of the startup ecosystem, because I feel that the time is right” said Jehan Ara in her closing speech.