Four startups from Pakistan – Elphinstone, Mahaana Wealth, Rider, and Markaz – were selected for the prestigious Silicon Valley-based accelerator Y Combinator’s Winter’22 cohort.
Almost 400 startups from across the world made it to YC’s W22 cohort, with India the most represented international market. After recently changing its terms, the accelerator invests up to $500,000 in each startup on two SAFE (simple agreement for future equity) notes.
Elphinstone is a Karachi-headquartered fintech that claims to be building the 401k – a popular company-sponsored retirement account in the US that employees can contribute to – for Pakistan. Founded by financial services and journalism professional Farooq Tirmizi, the startup had previously raised around $300,000 funding towards the end of 2020. It currently has the Securities Advisor license from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan.
Mahaana Wealth of Islamabad is the second Pakistani fintech in the W22 cohort of YC and claims to be the “first and only licensed digital investment advisor” that can create its own retirement and exchange-traded funds. The startup was founded by Muhammad Shamoon Tariq, partner at a Swedish investment manager.
Karachi’s Rider is a tech-enabled third-party logistics company serving the e-commerce market. It was founded in 2019 by Salman Allana, an ex-banker turned UPS executive, and raised a $2.3m seed round led by Global Founders Capital, Fatima Gobi Ventures, and Asian Development Bank. On its YC profile, the startup claims to do 200,000 orders a month and has a revenue of $130,000.
Meanwhile, Markaz Technologies from Islamabad is building a reseller platform for micro-entrepreneurs in Pakistan. It was founded in August 2021 by Umair Aslam, Sameel Hayat, and Shoaib Khan who bring in experience from EasyPaisa, and JazzCash among others.