Sister organization of World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) will be investing $2.5 million in Sarmayacar that is a venture capital firm for tech startups, in order to boost the entrepreneurship and to speed up economic growth in Pakistan, according to the press statement said.
$2m of total IFC fund are the equity commitments from the Startup Catalyst, to support seed funds and accelerators, is the body’s global programme, that include investments, mentorship, connections etc…. in the emerging markets, according to the press release.
“The early stage of local venture capital ecosystems is often the most crucial building block for sustaining healthy entrepreneurship and innovation, which helps to drive economic growth and create quality jobs,” Nadeem Siddiqui, IFC’s Senior Manager for Pakistan and Afghanistan was quoted as saying.
“Our aim is to support these entrepreneurs by helping to bridge issues around insufficient seed capital and strengthen the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan.”
$500,000 is for the Women Entrepreneurship Finance Initiative (We-Fi) which provides the support to women entrepreneurs in the developing countries, by building their capacity, and by providing them the access to financial services as well as the domestic and global markets. “We-Fi” is hosted by World Bank Group, is also a partnership between the governments, the development banks and the stakeholders, which includes both public and private sector.
IFC investment will boost country’s entrepreneurship ecosystem, by increasing the market competition will also encourage the entrepreneurs to expand into new markets.
The founder of Sarmayacar’s Rabeel Warraich lauded the step and said: “This marks the first such investment from the World Bank Group in Pakistan and will enable us to back more startups in the country, while also providing access to a global network, new markets and domain expertise to our portfolio companies.”
“Pakistan offers a unique opportunity with its improving stability; large, young population; rising middle class; fast-growing internet and smartphone penetration; and a dearth of venture capital in the ecosystem. Our goal at Sarmayacar is to provide value-add early-stage funding to entrepreneurs who are building scalable, market-transforming consumer and enterprise technology businesses in Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying.
“Sarmayacar” is a Netherlands-based venture capital firm that invests in up-coming tech-based startups aiming to help build the “scalable, market-transforming enterprise and the consumer technology businesses in Pakistan”, according to its website. Sarmayacar’s notable clients include the local startups like Dot & Line, Patari and Bykea among others.