Startup funding recovers from trough but still depressed

3 mins read

Three months into 2023 and the startup funding numbers for this year don’t paint a pretty picture. The amount rose to $23.1M in Q1-2023, from $15.15M raised last quarter. This represents a QoQ improvement of 52.5% in amount but comes off a low base, while the deal count remained flat. However, deployed capital plunged 86.6% compared to $172.8M raised in Q1-2022 while the deal count is also substantially lower.

Meanwhile, average and median ticket sizes fared better at $3.85M and $3.25M respectively compared to Q4-2022 levels. This is one of the lowest gaps between the average and median, which widened significantly during the period of capital frenzy, peaking in January-March last year on account of big rounds like Bazaar, Retailo, and Jugnu.

Not just a Pakistan phenomenon

The slowdown in startup funding was seen on a wider scale too with global monthly investment falling to $18B in February, from $48.8B in the same month of 2022. Crunchbase noted: “Not since February 2020 has global funding dipped below $20 billion in a single month.” 

Most of the money in Q1-2023 went towards transport and logistics startups, who raised $10.1M across 2 deals. The sector’s share in overall funding had lately declined from the highs of 2019 when it made up almost three-fourths of the total. [We classified TruKKr, which has now started offering credit, as T&L.]

Fintech came in at a close second, raising $9M across 2 deals. It also took home the biggest deal of the quarter, with Adalfi raising $7.5M. 

Six of the eight deals were at the seed stage and accounted for the entirety of disclosed funding. The pre-seed and accelerator rounds were never disclosed and thus not reflected in the amount.

No female-founded startups managed to bag funding this quarter, while TruKKr and Lokal were the only co-founded startups to do so. The quarter also saw some M&A action with a Portuguese firm s4 Digital acquiring stakes in both Bramerz and HRWays while Abhi bought a minority stake in BluEx Digital. 


  • Numbers might differ slightly from the previous roundups due to readjustments
  • M&A transactions don’t reflect in our analysis

Here are all the deals from Q1-2023.

Startup NameSectorAmountRoundInvestors
BefilerFinTech$1,500,000SeedCistech, Lakson Venture Capital
ezWifiAdvertising & MarketingUndisclosedAcceleratorTechstars
AdalfiFinTech$7,500,000SeedCOTU Ventures, Chimera Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Zayn Capital
LokalTravel & TourismUndisclosedPre-SeedWahed X
TraxTransportation & Logistics$3,700,000SeedAmaana Capital, Tricap Investments, PNO Ventures, Omer Ismail, Jahanzeb Sherwani
TrukkrTransportation & Logistics$6,400,000SeedAccion Venture Lab, Sturgeon Capital,Haitou Global, Al Zayani Venture Capital,Peter Findley
MaqsadEdTech$2,800,000SeedIndus Valley Capital, SpeedInvest, Stellar Capital, Alter Global, Johann Jenson
Swag KicksE-commerce$1,200,000SeedTechstars Toronto, CrossFund, Rose Lake Ventures, i5 Capital, STAK Group.

Natasha Uderani

Natasha Uderani is the co-founder of Data Darbar and has been involved with the technology ecosystem since 2017, last working as the Startup Engagement Manager for the National Incubation Center Hyderabad, She has previously worked with Careem and Cheetay. She can be reached at [email protected].

Mutaher Khan

Mutaher Khan is the co-founder of Data Darbar and has been mapping Pakistani startups and markets for the past five years. He can be reached at [email protected].

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