Tech Week in Pakistan (Issue 26: 8th September)
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.
Branchless Banking showing Tremendous Growth
One of our startups recently started accepting EasyPaisa payments. I went to personally collect the amount as I wanted to see the process first hand. My nearest outlet was in an alley near the Arfa Karim Tower in Lahore, a 2nd hand mobile accessories shop. As I entered there were already two customers being served before me, both of whom were there for the EasyPaisa facilities. I waited my turn and noticed that the proprietor seemed to have completely ignored, his primary business to focus on EasyPaisa. I learnt from him while doing my transaction that for the last 18 months his EasyPaisa business has been booming. His shop primarily collects cash from customers who are using it to remit back to their families in the more rural parts of Pakistan. He gets paid 8.5% of the amount for any cash that he disburses to a customer (unclear as to if this is the total amount or the fee that the service charges the payee).
The latest SBP branchless banking reports that in the first quarter of 2014, 68.5 million branchless banking (BB) transactions worth Rs. 278.3 billion were carried out across the country. This shows a 27% growth in volume and a 19% growth in value of transactions. On average the number of daily transactions crossed 760,000. Figures reported in Aurora show EasyPaisa conducting 350,000 transaction per day or 46% of total transaction volume. All these figures point to strong growth in this sector so it’s no surprise that all major mobile networks have started branchless banking units.
By the time I had completed my transaction and had finished asking the owner about the service another 2 customers had come in behind me to send money using EasyPaisa.
UPaisa, UFone’s branchless banking service has also announced the ability to purchase Daewoo bus tickets in advance at UPaisa agents.
FoodPanda Starts Online Payments
FoodPanda with the release of its new app has started giving customers an option to pay for their food with their credit or debit card. The service was first introduced in June and since then they have around 50 restaurants in Karachi that offer the facility. ProPakistani is reporting that their app takes more orders than other channels, 64% of its total orders were received via its mobile app during the month of Ramzan this year, which is a huge increase from 28% at the same time last year.
Founders Institute Starts in Karachi
Founders Institute is looking to start a chapter in Karachi and attract young and experienced entrepreneurs to join its ranks and help them get funding. The programs biggest assets seems to be its ability to make introduction to investors based in Silicon Valley at the end of the program. If selected participants have to pay a one time fee of $450, which is meant to ensure only very serious startups apply.
The program is still in its test phase the first program is expected to begin in January if there is enough interest in the program from local entrepreneurs.
Matchmaking: Ap(p)t delivery | Tribune
Remote Interview makes it to BlackBox Connect Fall 2014 | TechJuice
HomeShopping Pakistan starts up HS Ventures | TechJuice
A whole new Planet: Baby Planet | TechJuice
Zameen.com rolls out mobile app for iOS users | TechJuice
Wi-Tribe Launches Hi App Pakistan’s First Communication Application | TechJuice
LCE opens applications for 2nd Cycle of Incubation | TechJuice
Lessons to learn from Frag Games Founders who have Raised 400K USD from Local Investors! | TechJuice
i2i Announces 5 New Teams for its Acceleration Program | TechJuice
PlanX: Lifeblood for Mid-Stage Tech Startups | PakWired
Applications Open for Acumen Fund, Pakistan Fellows Program| PakWired
Disclosure Statement: I am currently employed as Country Manager of Kaymu.pk, a venture funded by Rocket Internet. All news pertaining to Kaymu, Rocket Internet or any of their investors and holdings are released as and when they are reported in the media.