Startup culture in Pakistan has grown exponentially in the past few years, but questions still remain about whether startups have what it takes to survive, mature and scale.

Read: Dodging illicit cash, Pakistan startups hunt for angel funds

Finding seed funding is where many startups struggle. However, things may be set to change on the venture capital front as big names including Bakery, Golden Gate Ventures, Wadi Accelerator, and Fatima Ventures are showing interest in investing in the Pakistani market.

Here is a short list of startups that have already made their presence felt in 2017, and are expected to go bigger in 2018.

Bykea

Founded: December 2016

Bykea is a local ride hailing service which uses bikes as the primary mode of transportation. Apart from getting a ride, the app allows customers to avail multiple other services such as bill payment, and parcel collection or delivery.

Just like competitors Careem and Uber, Bykea allows its users to track rides and rate them based on the quality of service.

Why are they on this list?

Given the low maintenance and fuel consumption of a bikes, Bykea is able to offer economical rates to its users, compared to other car hailing apps.

Moreover, the app is also available in Urdu making it easier for the masses to understand and use it.

With additional services of collecting and delivering parcels, Bykea is catering to a huge local market and has already shown potential to make it big in the months to come.

CertCars

Founded: February 2017

CertCars makes buying and selling cars easier, eliminating middlemen and connecting buyers directly with sellers. All cars listed on the website get inspected by trained technicians, and they also carry out a detailed photo shoot.

Their service is currently free until the end of 2017, but they will be charging an undisclosed amount from 2018.

Why are they on this list?

A young startup fresh out of tech incubator The Nest I/O, they recently secured investment of Rs5 million from ecommerce portal homeshopping.pk.

MicroPower Labs

Founded: 2015

MicroPower Labs is a technology innovation startup that develops tech gadgets, one of their products being Flash Pack, which claims to be the world’s fastest charging power bank with charging time of 15 minutes.

The startup also aims to launch Cooly in 2018, which they say is the world's first solar powered wearable cooling device.

Why are they on this list?

With a customer base spread across 35 countries, MicroPower Labs has been able to secure funding from international investors in a very short period, with $100,000 in sales in 2017. The most recent push for the startup came in September 2017 when they secured an equity free grant of AUD $100,000 from the Government of Queensland Australia.

Car Chabi

Founded: December 2015

Car Chabi is a digital car key app that allows users to lock, unlock, start, and secure their car through smartphones. They have introduced many other interesting features for this digital car key as well, such as engine kill, automatically saving parking locations, and pre-heating or cooling the car.

Why are they on this list?

Within one year of operation, the startup was able to generate a revenue of over $30,000 and also secured seed funding worth $150,000 from Treet Corporation Limited in 2017. The first-of-its-kind local app has gained interest of many car owners for both security and convenience.

Patari

Founded: September 2014

Patari claims to be Pakistan’s largest audio streaming platform that not only produces original music, but also the first Pakistani digital media platform that pays royalties to its artists. Users can stream music on the Patari website as well as on its mobile app.

Also read: Patari: This new Pakistani music site could be a game changer

Why are they on this list?

The startup raised $200,000 in seed funding in December 2016 from Sarmayacar, and has since launched many successful projects. Patari’s userbase has been consistently increasing since its launch, and according to Humayun Haroon, co-founder of Patari, they are currently attracting over a million visits and over four million streams each month.

UrduBit

Founded: August 2016

UrduBit is Pakistan’s first Bitcoin trading platform focused on safe transactions and maintaining a level of professionalism that doesn't exist on the cryptocurrency front locally. The site functions by allowing users to trade directly with each other via the platform, charging a 0.75% trade fee.

Why are they on this list?

Urdubit continues to gain traction as awareness regarding cryptocurrency has increased in the local market. Bitcoin has gained attention of people around the world who are now looking to invest in this largely unregulated digital currency, and Urdubit shows a lot of potential as a local platform for bitcoin trade in Pakistan.

Explore: Bitcoin futures rise as virtual currency hits major exchange

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