Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications (MoITT) and its tech innovation arm, Ignite (National Technology Fund) on Tuesday launched Pakistan’s first national investment platform called ‘PakImpactInvest,’ opening up new investment avenues in the country.

The platform was launched at a ceremony attended among others by Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque, Secretary IT Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, CEO Ignite Asim Shahryar Husain and senior officials of the ministry, Ignite and Accelerate Prosperity, a news release said.

Accelerate Prosperity (AP) is a joint initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Industrial Promotion Services (IPS).

As a part of the MoU signed between AP and Ignite, the former would assist the ministry and Ignite as the technical advisory partner for co-designing and launching ‘PakImpactInvest’ that would be Pakistan’s first national investment platform.

It would open up new avenues for investment in startups graduating from Ignite Funded National Incubation Centres (NICs) as well as other startups of Pakistan in future.

The Accelerate Prosperity raises investments from public sector programs, private sector groups, investment houses, venture funds and philanthropists.” Speaking on the occasion, IT Minister Syed Amin Ul Haque said one of the key challenges of new technology-based startups was “access to early stage and growth stage capital and I’m sure that this initiative will bridge the gap in an efficient manner. This Ignite AP partnership looks promising to solve the financing challenge faced by our startups.” He said the overall environment in the country was improving, adding, the Bykea, one of the startups accelerated at NIC Karachi, had raised $21 million of Series B Funding.

Similarly, altogether, as many as 122 deals worth $178 million were made from 2015-2020 in Pakistani Startup including another 19 deals with amounts that were undisclosed.

“This brings the total deals count up 141.” Amin Ul Haque appreciated the collaborative efforts of Ignite and AP for entering into a meaningful partnership that would create the right leeway for young tech companies to scale-up.

Federal Secretary Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui also appreciated the collaborative efforts of Ignite and AP for the partnership which would create the right launch-pad for young tech companies to scale up.

In his welcome remarks, CEO Ignite Asim Shahryar Husain said stated so far as many as 272 startups had graduated from Ignite’s National Incubation Centers with a total investment commitment of Rs 8 billion and cumulative revenue of Rs 3 billion.

“These nascent companies have created more than 100,000 new jobs and these numbers quantify the achievements of our 5 incubators in a short span of time. Ignite is planning vertical incubators and accelerators in future to boost the startup ecosystem of Pakistan.” The platform, the first of its kind, was aimed at bridging the gap between entrepreneurs and national and international investors of all types including commercial and impact investors, donors and philanthropists.

The ministry and Ignite would invite various investors, donors and other investment and financial institutions to participate in the platform to consider business opportunities for financing, investments, supply chain commitments and networking.

“It will be open to qualifying startups from all NICs and AP incubated and accelerated businesses across Pakistan.”Under PakImpactInvest, first grand national pitching session of top 25-30 startups selected from all NICs and AP accelerated companies would be held in last week of March 2021.