In a groundbreaking move, Pakistan has launched the inaugural “Pakistan Startup Fund” (PSF), aimed at propelling venture investments and positioning local startups as key players on the global stage. Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saifs, announced an annual allocation of up to Rs 2 billion to fuel the PSF, reflecting the government’s commitment to fostering entrepreneurship.
Structured as equity-free capital, the PSF is designed to assist startups in securing their first external investment, minimising risk for both local and international investors. The Ignite National Technology Fund will oversee the fund’s execution, ensuring transparency through an independent steering body.
Dr. Saifs highlighted the vibrant entrepreneurial landscape in Pakistan, with over $800 million invested in startups over the past four years and the presence of eight National Incubation Centers supporting more than 4,000 startups. The PSF aims to further boost this ecosystem by offering grants to startups, reducing the risk for international investors.
He emphasised the transformative impact of the PSF, projecting it to create an annual value of at least Rs 50 billion in the country’s startup ecosystem. By underwriting venture capitalists’ risks and fostering an environment of innovation, the PSF not only provides financial support but also accelerates economic growth and technological innovation.
The launching ceremony, attended by local and international venture capitalists, investors, ambassadors, and tech industry leaders, symbolises Pakistan’s commitment to nurturing a thriving startup ecosystem. Dr. Saif sees the PSF as a catalyst for exciting collaborations, ushering in an era of innovation and prosperity, with the Ministry of IT and Telecommunication continuing to champion technological advancement and entrepreneurship.