Sarmayacar ready to back Pakistani tech startups with $30m fund

Updated November 09, 2018

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Sarmayacar founder and CEO Rabeel Warraich and his international partner Dr Bernhard Klemen. — Photo courtesy Sarmayacar
Sarmayacar founder and CEO Rabeel Warraich and his international partner Dr Bernhard Klemen. — Photo courtesy Sarmayacar

Sarmayacar, a Netherlands-based early stage seed fund, announced on Friday the close of Sarmayacar Ventures, a $30 million venture capital fund geared towards supporting Pakistani startups.

Founder and Chief Executive Officer Rabeel Warraich and international partner Dr Bernhard Klemen will lead the fund's investment of $100,000-$2m into companies focused on the technology and technology-enabled sectors, a press release issued by the company said.

Warraich explained that the objective of Sarmayacar Ventures is to "invest in the future of Pakistan".

"We are excited about the emerging opportunities in the country, particularly in the venture space, underpinned by attractive demographics and a strong digitisation push across many segments of the economy," said Warraich.

He added that the company looks to combine its expertise with the "financial firepower" of the fund to "back the most promising entrepreneurs building the next iconic Pakistani companies."

The CEO expressed hope that more investors, both local and international, follow "these small initial steps" and direct more risk capital towards the budding entrepreneurial ecosystem of Pakistan.

International partner Dr Klemen described Pakistan as "one of the last remaining untapped markets of an attractive scale".

"The stage of development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Pakistan allows us to build bridges and bring learning and expertise from international ecosystems."

Sarmayacar aims to provide value-added capital to recipients by giving them access to a diverse and experienced base of investors and international domain experts led by former Electronic Arts board member Jan Bolz, Dr Klemen said, in order to support local talent in company building and mitigate the scarcity of "smart capital" in Pakistan.