IT Minister Unveils Rs. 2 Billion Pakistan Startup Fund

IT Minister

In a significant move for the Pakistani startup ecosystem, IT Minister Dr. Umar Saif officially launched the Rs. 2 billion Pakistan Startup Fund (PSF). The inauguration ceremony witnessed the presence of domestic and international venture capitalists, diplomats, and prominent tech companies.

Dr. Umar Saif, along with Secretary IT Hasan Nasir Jami and Ignite CEO Asim Shehryar, highlighted the pivotal role of the Pakistan Startup Fund in expediting venture investment, contributing significantly to Pakistan’s economic development. The fund aims to offer crucial financial support to startups, with each venture receiving 30% support from the PSF, complemented by the remaining 70% from venture capitalists.

The IT Minister emphasized the government’s commitment to fostering and accelerating the growth of innovative ventures in Pakistan through the PSF. Beyond financial backing, this initiative aims to create a conducive environment for startups to thrive. Dr. Umar Saif shared the Ministry’s active efforts in providing facilities and support to IT startups as part of a broader strategy to boost the local tech ecosystem.

Over the past four years, Pakistani startups have attracted approximately $800 million in foreign investments, indicating a growing global interest in the country’s entrepreneurial landscape. Dr. Umar Saif took to Twitter to elaborate on the PSF’s impact, revealing that it aims to lower the risk for international investors evaluating Pakistani startups. The PSF grants a substantial $300k to startups when a foreign VC invests $1 million, without taking equity, shares, or a board position in return.

At the launch ceremony, the IT Minister disclosed that 8 National Incubation Centers across the nation support over 4,000 startups. The government is committed to aiding startups in securing funding, with an annual allocation of Rs. 2 billion earmarked to help startups raise a substantial Rs. 50 billion. The fund is set to disburse financial support to startups from March 1, providing policy guidelines for venture funds, ensuring investment protection for foreign investors, and facilitating big corporations to invest in Pakistani startups. This move is poised to make a significant impact on the Pakistani startup landscape, creating a value of at least Rs. 50 billion per year in the startup ecosystem.

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