We primarily invest in early-stage companies that have successfully demonstrated through pilots that their service, product or idea has mass appeal. Once we decide to invest, we are laser-focused on helping seed stage companies become the next big thing.

By connecting entrepreneurs with the tech, resources and community they need on Day 1, we aim to make a lasting impact.

We’re building a future where founders can work together (and with us) to get the holistic advice, data and tools they need to make a big difference from the very beginning.

Genesis


Our journey started in August 2013 with the launch of our Non Profit, Foundation for Information Technology, with the purpose of facilitating entrepreneurs and hence fostering Entrepreneurship. The first project was named DotZero and was launched through private donations, and some grants.

Over the 2 years, DotZero has provided 24×6 office space, mentoring and networking to approximately 50 startups. The companies have raised in aggregate of $20 million in funding. The current annualized revenues of these companies are currently between $10-$20 million with total employee strength of around 250 people, mostly software engineers.

In the summer of 2015, our Board and our Advisors decided to take the next step of the journey – beyond office space, mentoring & networking – and decided to invest in the area of pre-revenue or early revenue startups.

Where do we Invest?


IT Entrepreneurship is still its nascent phase in Pakistan, and while we understand that being everything to everyone is not our Goal, we also feel it is too early to draw any boundaries.

Broadly speaking, there are 3 primary criteria to our investment philosophy:

  1. Stage of the firm: We primarily invest in early-stage companies that have successfully demonstrated through pilots that their service, product or idea has mass appeal.
  2. Sectors: We work with entrepreneurs across sectors wherever we see a compelling opportunity to build businesses to serve the rapidly growing consumer and services markets of the country or where we can leverage local human capital and talent to serve global markets. Our key focus areas are: Fashion/Retail, E-commerce/Internet and Technology.
  3. Geography: Our passion is working alongside entrepreneurs to convert their pilots into industry-leading companies. We’re located in Karachi but we invest in companies across Pakistan, with 2 of our 6 current investments outside Karachi.

Post Investment Process


Since startups have so many odds against them, we try to help by offloading many responsibilities away from our portfolio companies and increase their odds of success.

  1. It starts with recommended use of our shared office space, so that the founder’s capital & time/energy is conserved by not having to worry about the basic necessities.
  2. We then provide access to our shared services teams – Lawyers, Chartered Accountant, Information Technology – all the necessary things that take up a lot of energy if someone is doing this for the first time and does not have the contacts in place.
  3. Finally, we open up our circle of contacts for you – Vendors, Partners, Customers and Investors.

Portfolio


We run an open ended seed fund, so while we are the most prolific startup investor in Pakistan, we continue to scout for more opportunities.

 

We also have convertible note agreements with incubators and accelerators with graduations coming up in January 2016.

How to Apply


We are a powerpoint free zone. But if you have a beta or a prototype and would like to talk investments, speak with Farzal.

Our Board


Our group of angel advisors and investors has collectively over 100 years of experience building and scaling global businesses in Information Technology, Internet, Software, Financial Services and Manufacturing. Everyone of us has worked across geographies and has a deep understanding of building a business from inception through cross-border expansion till successful exits.

We all have day jobs but are driven by a firm belief in the tremendous opportunity in the country. We are also passionate about building new businesses and working with entrepreneurs in realizing their dreams to make an impact.

Partnerships


Entrepreneurs – not VCs – build great companies. We’re in the business of empowering people. We work closely with the following partners for Talent identification.

About Karachi


We are based in Karachi The city of lights, a sprawling metropolis and the largest city of Pakistan with a population of over 13 million.

At the end of 1700’s ,the settlers of Kolachi village started trading across the sea with Muscat and the Persian Gulf region. Later, the village started to grow as the commercial hub and a port for trade. For the protection of this developing area, a small fort was constructed. This fort was handed over to Talpurs by the Khan of Kalat in 1795. The British recognized the importance of the city as a trading post and they captured the city in February 1843 under the command of Sir Charles Napier and the city was annexed as a district of the British Indian Empire. In 1846, it was home to around 50,000 people.

Investing in the riskiest phase of a startup, we wanted to reflect that very spirit of entrepreneurship and mercantile culture of the city that transformed it from a tiny fishing village called ‘Kolachi’ on the Indus river delta into a global megacity. Karachi remains the financial capital of Pakistan as it accounts for most of Pakistan’s revenue generation. It generates approximately 53.38% of the total tax collections of the Federal Board of Revenue. Karachi produces about 30 percent of value-added in large scale manufacturing and 20% of the GDP of Pakistan. In February 2007, the World Bank identified Karachi as the most business-friendly city in Pakistan. In 2010, research by the global human resources company Mercer Consulting found Karachi to be the most inexpensive city in the world.