Fatima Gobi Ventures announces first batch of startups in its debut fund

Pakistani venture capital firm Fatima Gobi Ventures has announced the first close of its debut fund - Techxila Fund I, which was announced late last year, and the five startups that have received funding.

The companies boast experienced founders in their management teams and operate in a variety of industries from e-commerce, travel, FinTech SaaS, and logistics. All of these startups are driven to give Pakistani consumers and businesses a boost with their own individual products and services in spite of the current economic uncertainty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Along with the existing five portfolio companies, Techxila Fund I is set to invest in another 10 to 15 companies over the next several years and is focused on Seed and Series A investments in technology-enabled businesses that address current pain points in Pakistan, a market with a population of 200M+ and over 75M internet users.

The fund's target sectors include travel, logistics, FinTech, healthcare, education, e-commerce, consumer tech, industrial Internet, and TaqwaTech, an investment vertical that targets innovative startups offering products and services that cater for the global Muslim population. 

Over 70% of the targeted size has been raised thus far and the fund is on track to complete the final close early next year. LPs include leading entrepreneurs representing industries that include agriculture, banking, energy, textiles, and other important sectors of the economy, as well as former Amazon MENA Regional Finance Director and Souq.com Group CFO Asif Keshodia. 


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Meet the five startups that Fatima Gobi Ventures is backing:

Tajir

Tajir is a B2B marketplace, whereby stores can order inventory, receive on-demand delivery services as well as enjoy transparent and competitive prices. The company essentially takes a process that usually consumes a dozen hours weekly and reduces it to a few minutes. Founded by brothers Babar and Ismail Khan in 2019, the company’s vision is to provide every kirana store in Pakistan with the essential services it needs to grow. 

Safepay

A FinTech platform and online payment gateway, Safepay has developer-focused APIs and plugins available for Magento, OpenCart, Shopify, and WooCommerce platforms. Founded by 'wapistanis' Ziyad Parekh and Raza Navi, Safepay’s main focus is on enabling online payments for B2C and e-commerce platforms. The platform has integrated Visa, MasterCard, and local payment methods, such as mobile wallets and bank accounts to facilitate e-commerce transactions.

InventHub

A SaaS startup in deep tech, InventHub was founded by Usama Abid. A homegrown entrepreneur, Usama’s vision for InventHub’s is to enable inventors to bring their products to life and help current hardware companies optimize their collaboration processes. The company has developed efficient processes that help eliminate redundancies which translate into lower costs for hardware development and enable faster, more affordable innovations to happen. 

Airlift  

Airlift, which set out to build an efficient logistics platform in Pakistan, raised the country’s largest Series A round of $22M led by early Uber-backer, First Round Capital. The investment was also the firm’s first venture into the Pakistan startup ecosystem. Initially, the Airlift team began by trying to solve the daily commute problem with the introduction of an efficient mass transit system. However, COVID-19 gave Airlift an opportunity to launch quick e-commerce as lockdowns in the country accelerated the adoption of online purchasing of daily essentials. 

Sastaticket

Sastaticket is an emerging online travel agency (OTA) that aims to give Pakistani travellers access to all travel products in the country. They are essentially democratizing access to travel suppliers and standardizing transactions via a user-friendly platform. Known as one of Pakistan’s leading OTA, the COVID-19 pandemic had a definite impact on Sastaticket. However, as travel restrictions within the country were lifted, the company recorded a V-shaped recovery.


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