Tech Week in Pakistan (Issue 16: 1st June)
This weekly newsletter focuses on the most important new developments within Pakistan’s Technology Sector. To receive this newsletter on a weekly basis subscribe to our mailing list (no spam ever) or follow me on Twitter @adamdawood. Previous instalments of the newsletter can be found here.
Zameen.com gets funding from Frontier Digital Ventures
Frontier Digital Ventures & Catch Group have decided to invest in Pakistan’s Zameen.com a local real estate portal. The company was founded in 2006 by two brothers, Zeeshan Ali Khan and Imran Ali Khan. Having previously received an investment from a French angel investor, Gilles Blanchard, this new deal see’s both Catcha Group and Frontier Digital Ventures acquired a 30% interest in Zameen.com.
Payments Ecosystem Update
MasterCard and the Bank of Punjab announced the launch of the Social Security Program to automate and streamline government disbursement, subsidy and assistance programs. This initiative is aimed at driving financial inclusion across Punjab. The new platform will support five government programs including pension, payroll, education, micro-lending, and healthcare. A key part of the program is the use of biometrics to verify the identity of the recipient when using the card at merchants across the country.
It was not all good news however, as 2Checkout revealed that orders originating from Pakistan addresses (both physical and IP) have a high chance of fraud.
Mobile/Internet Subscribers Expansion
Data released by the PTA (Pakistan Telecommunication Authority) shows the number of mobile subscribers grew by 1.2m users in March’14 from the preceding month. Last month we discussed some of the issues we had with the data being shown by the PTA, and this month ProPakistani has also reported on some inaccuracies. The PTA gathers mobile subscriber numbers based on monthly reports from the mobile companies without any independent verification. The cellular numbers are based on tax collection data, as the telco’s have to pay PKR 250 for each new activated sim.
Broadband connections also grew according to the PTA by 60,000 to a total of 3.54m connections in March ‘14.
Telenor releases 3G packages | ProPakistani
Pakistan’s First Online Repository of Free Textbooks | TechJuice
Bookme.pk wants to dominate online bookings in Pakistan | TechinAsia
TechJuice create a Startup Registry with StartupJuice | TechJuice
JS Bank and others release smartphone banking apps | The News
Faces of Pakistan’s future: From tech entrepreneur to mufti educator | CSMonitor
Pakistan Has World’s 4th Highest Number of Shadow Entrepreneurs | Haqs Musing