This Week in Pakistan (1st-16th Feb)

This is the first in what will be a weekly post on Pakistan’s internet industry. I will cover (briefly) all the developments that are most important to the industry. To get real times updates please follow me on Twitter (@adamdawood) or for weekly updates subscribe to this blog on the right hand side.

Pakistan’s $25 million Online Retail Market

The e-commerce market in Pakistan is said to be as large as $25 million. A study by says that 50% of orders come from Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi, with a further 20% from Sialkot and Faisalabad. These are in keeping with numbers given by where 50% of their orders were from the Top 3 cities and 50% from the rest of Pakistan.

2 Startups Selected for Blackbox Connect

Two Pakistani startups were selected again for Blackbox Connect this year, a 2-week program in SV. Last year it was attended by Eyedeus Labs (of Groopic Fame) and TunaCode. Fadi Bashira the Founder of Blackbox visited Plan9 this month and signed an agreement where they will take 2 startups each year into their program. After his visit he said that “Tech startups in Pakistan are really hardcore technology, even more so than in Silicon Valley”.

Plan9 Open Co-working Space for Freelancers in Lahore

The PITB have opened up a co-working space called Plan9 TechHub in Lahore. Given that Pakistan is a top 5 country on and Odesk, and freelancers contribute around $60 million towards its GDP, this co-working space will support the freelance community by providing them state of the art facilities necessary for professional and economic growth.

Food Delivery Startups

The market for food delivery in Pakistan is estimated to be PKR 15 billion and the competition for online ordering is increasing. EatOye is said to have delivered to 40,000 customers in the last 6 months. Their competitors are FoodPanda, Urbanite and KhaoPiyo.

Rocket Internet see’s Potential in Pakistan

Oliver Samwer talked about doing business in Pakistan during a conference. (Youtube — 9min mark). He went as far as saying in markets like Pakistan he is ready to invest even if he has to “build a Pakistan Post”

Rocket Internet MD Koen Thikssen said “we see Pakistan as a market with excellent adoption rate for e-commerce business”. Rocket Internet already has 6 portals in Pakistan and are looking to expand this even further.

Startup Weekend Lahore

LUMS was host to this years Startup Weekend Lahore’14. The winners were Wi-Fast.