UK-based CDC Group backs Fatima Gobi Ventures Techxila Fund I

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The UK-based development finance institution and impact investor CDC Group (CDC) has made an anchor investment in Techxila Fund I, managed by local venture capital firm Fatima Gobi Ventures (FGV)

With over 70 years of experience, CDC Group has investments in over 1000 businesses in Emerging Venture Markets with total assets of $9.3bn. In 2020, CDC committed over $1.5bn to businesses in Africa and Asia and aims to invest up to $1.75bn in 2021. CDC brings its environmental social governance (ESG) and impact investing acumen to Techxila’s portfolio companies, Manged by Fatima Gobi Ventures, itself a joint venture between Pakistan conglomerate Fatima  Ventures and pan-Asian VC Gobi Partners.

Increasing interest from international investors reflects well on Pakistani startups. In the first half of 2021 alone, Pakistani-based startups raised more funding than the previous five years combined. This rise in VC  funding has helped fuel the country’s economic growth with Fatima Gobi Ventures at the forefront. Now the most active investor in  Pakistan, FGV’s investees were involved in more than 40 percent of the country’s announced funding rounds as of September 2021. FGV’s strong combination of Fatima Ventures’ local expertise and Gobi Partners’ regional know-how has helped the VC spot first movers and get ahead of key trends.


 


CDC’s commitment will help to boost  Techxila Fund I’s investments in Pakistan-focused early-stage startups,  helping drive transformational impact and spurring economic and social development in the country. Habib Yousuf, Country Director, Pakistan, CDC Group, highlighted  “Pakistan is a key VC market for CDC, due to the depth of entrepreneurial talent in a large and growing domestic market, with numerous opportunities for delivering impact through tech-enabled business models. We are excited to be building an enduring partnership with  Fatima Gobi, which is well-positioned to support local entrepreneurs and  help stimulate innovation and transformational impact that will drive  sustainable economic development.” 


Techxila Fund I portfolio companies have set several milestones for  Pakistan’s startup scene. In August 2019, the fund backed Lahore-based logistics startup Airlift’s seed round. A year later,  Airlift’s $85M Series B round was the highest round to ever be raised by a Pakistan-based startup. In June 2021, Techxila also participated in Islamabad-based fintech TAG’s $5.5M Seed round, the largest seed round in the MENAP. In addition, Techxila also joined TAG’s follow-up Seed round in  September 2021, valued at US$12M, more than doubled its past record-setting raise. 

CDC’s fund injection into Techxila will enable FGV to expand its investment portfolio across a myriad of verticals including FinTech, Logistics, EdTech,  and HealthTech sectors. Such tech-enabled business models can contribute to job creation at scale and enhance consumer access to essential goods and services. Ali Mukhtar, General Partner for FGV concluded “We are elated to welcome  CDC, a pioneer in impact investing and renowned partner in ESG  integration, to the Techxila team. CDC’s backing is a vote of confidence in the massive growth potential of Pakistani startups. Now, FGV can leverage  CDC’s expertise in ESG, sustainability, and impact matters for the benefit of  Techxila’s portfolio companies. This partnership is an exciting development  for both FGV and Pakistan’s burgeoning startup ecosystem.” 


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