FindMyAdventure, a Pakistan-based travel platform that connects tour operators, guides, and sellers to travellers, has raised $600K in a Pre-Series A funding round, from a local Pakistani and expatriate consortium. The round highlights the willingness of expat angels to invest in Pakistani startups and their confidence in the local ecosystem.
FindMyAdventure's previous funding insights:
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In 2016, some local Pakistani graduates, fresh out of university, turned their love for travel into a business and started their journey to disrupt the travel ecosystem in the country. FindMyAdventure (FMA), an experience marketplace, started in a living room with 4 individuals, and currently employs over 40 people, has onboarded over 300 online and offline operators, and serves over 30,000 customers. In its short lifespan, the company has secured six figure seed funding, multiple grants, worked with the world’s biggest multinational companies, and made a name for itself as Pakistan’s first and only experience marketplace.
This year, with ambitious targets and expansion in progress, the company was ready to finally put plans into practice, but the world was struck with a global pandemic. Everyone wrote travel off for the foreseeable future, jobs within the hospitality sector hung in the balance, and tourism companies across the world began to pivot. FMA was no different.
The team worked around the clock to develop contingency plans and became one of the first companies to expand into digital tourism and experiences within Pakistan. Throughout the dry spell caused by the pandemic, FMA managed to retain its market relevance and brand presence, with people continuing to trust the company. This was further reinforced by the company’s decision to not resume operations until the situation stabilised.
After months of persistence and dedication, domestic travel re-opened, and FMA became a travel service aggregator that took an active interest in the safety of its customers by providing them with safety kits and ensuring that its partners enforced all relevant SOPs. Sales began to skyrocket and targets were doubled, month on month. Although things weren’t where they were supposed to be by this time of the year, they were certainly getting there.
Komail Naqvi, Founder and CEO said, "The faith which expatriate angels have shown in Pakistani tourism and us, is what has brought FMA here. Without their support, and the dedication of our team, the business would not have survived this hit."
Muhammad Ovais Yousuf, Chairman, BoD said, “In early March 2020, we were faced with a difficult choice, either to challenge ourselves, be confident in the country and our team’s resilience or to take an easy route of winding down. We certainly took the right decision. I am very excited to see the progress that FMA has achieved in digitization, team building, product development, and truly believe that it’s just the beginning. Not only for us at FMA, but the startup scene in the country as a whole.”
This round of funding marks a turning point for the company. With an appetite for innovation and a newfound faith in the team that stuck around through trying times, FMA now aims to digitise the tourism landscape of Pakistan, educate, empower and integrate thousands of underutilised service providers into the mainstream tourism ecosystem, become a flagbearer for responsible tourism by setting and enforcing new industry standards, and expand into new projects including rentals, luxury tourism, and more.
Although people had written 2020 off as a doomed year for travel, the company remains optimistic for the future of Pakistani tourism and aims to create 100,000+ jobs by 2022.
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2020 YTD has seen $803M invested in MENA-based startups, matching total funding of full-year 2019. Discover more trends and insights in our Q3 2020 MENA Venture Investment Report.