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Hong Kong’s SparkLabs FIntech Enters Pakistan With New $5M Fund

The SparkLabs Pakistan Fund I will look to invest in three startups, before following up with a fund six times its size.

As more and more eyes divert their gaze towards a Pakistani tech and entrepreneurship ecosystem that is booming, Hong Kong-based accelerator programme, SparkLabs Fintech, has staked its claim with a new venture capital fund.

SparkLabs Fintech is part of SparkLabs Group, an early-stage tech investor founded in 2013 by Frank Meehan, Bernard Moon and John Lee. The company runs several accelerator programmes and venture funds, though at $5 million, the SparkLabs Pakistan Fund I seems somewhat meagre when measured against the amount of VC funding that has flooded into Pakistan since 2021.

In fact, 2022 has also been a fruitful year, with Pakistani startups recording an impressive $143 million in the Q1’22, a remarkable 408% increase on Q1’21. The fintech sector has, in general, been one of the most prolific in Pakistan, coming second only to ecommerce and recording 191% YoY growth, with neobanking and payment solutions providers such as NayaPay and MyTM proving to be attractive targets for global VCs.

Yet, SparkLabs have reportedly been eyeing Pakistan for almost two years and its this rich vein of form throughout 2021 and 2022 that gave them the push - even if $5 million represents a small push, with the company targeting just three startups.

“Over the past 12 months, private investments in Pakistan have seen explosive growth, and many VC stalwarts from around the world are starting to take notice. Given SparkLabs’ investment activity in China, Korea, SE Asia, we have seen how fintech evolution has played out in other markets, and believe that many of those trends will be applicable here as well. We are starting off with a $5M fund to invest in three top-notch pre-selected companies that we have been studying for the past year or so. This fund will serve as SparkLabs’s arrival into Pakistan.”

“Over the past 12 months, private investments in Pakistan have seen explosive growth, and many VC stalwarts from around the world are starting to take notice,”  SparkLabs Fintech’s  Managing Director, William Chu, said of the launch. “Given SparkLabs’ investment activity in China, Korea and South East Asia, we have seen how fintech evolution has played out in other markets, and believe that many of those trends will be applicable here as well. This fund will serve as SparkLabs’s arrival into Pakistan.”

For Chu and co, the fund represents the first step on a journey that will see them follow it up with $25-30 million early-stage, seed-to-Series A fund that will target 15-20 fintech Pakistani startups in Pakistan over the next two years.




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