ISLAMABAD: The Minis­­try of Information Tech­no­logy and Telecommunica­tions (MoITT) and its tech innovation arm Ignite (National Technology Fund) on Tuesday launched Pakis­tan’s first national investment platform called Pak­ImpactInvest, opening up new investment avenues.

The platform was laun­ched at a ceremony attended among others by Federal Minister for IT and Telecom Syed Amin Ul Haque, IT Secretary Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, Ignite CEO Asim Shahryar Husain and senior officials of the ministry, Ignite and Accelerate Pros­perity (AP), a joint initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Industrial Promotion Services (IPS).

As part of the MoU signed between AP and Ignite, the former would assist the MoITT and Ignite as the technical advisory partner for co-designing and launching PakImpactInvest, said a press release.

It would open up new avenues for investment in startups graduating from Ignite Funded National Incubation Centres as well as other startups of Pakistan in future, the statement said.

The AP raises investments from public sector programmes, private sector groups, investment houses, venture funds and philanthropists.

Mr Haque said one of the key challenges of new technology-based startups was access to early stage and growth stage capital. “I’m sure that this initiative will bridge the gap in an efficient manner. This Ignite AP partnership looks promising to solve the financing challenge faced by our startups,” he said.

He noted that the overall environment in the country was improving and added that Bykea, one of the startups accelerated at NIC Karachi, had raised $21 million of Series B Funding.

Published in Dawn, February 10th, 2021

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