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How Paklaunch has helped 80+ startups raise $80M+
Started as a whatsapp group during the pandemic, the platform now operates events as well as a tool to help founders apply to pitch, compare against peers and connect to investors.
Aly Fahd is the Founder of Paklaunch (PL), a global community of Pakistani entrepreneurs, professionals and investors. Paklaunch started as a single WhatsApp group in April 2020 by seven friends to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan and the larger MENAPT region.
The platform has since grown to 300K+ member strong, hosted 300+ events and three major tech conferences, including the recently hosted invite-only Paklaunch UnConference'23 held in Dubai with 100+ investors and startup founders from 15+ countries.
In Picture: Nirjhor Rahman, CEO of Bangladesh Angels, at Paklaunch UnConference'23 held in Dubai in January with Aly Fahd
Paklaunch has also facilitated 80+ startups raising $80M+ in the last two years. Currently, Aly Fahd is Head of Strategic Sourcing at a Bay Area Tech Startup. He has previously worked in Engineering, Product Management and Operations for tech companies such as Amazon and Juniper. He has an MBA from Cornell University, NY and MS Mechanical Engineering from Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.
Snippets from the episode:
Connect people and connect the dots - that’s my superpower. That has been part of my day job as well. In my role in strategic sourcing, I work with a lot of tech companies in the Bay Area. My focus is more on semiconductors, so I work with companies like Micron and Samsung. My role is to be the window for them, align our roadmaps with them and come up with new technologies and products. So, you have to keep your ear to the ground, and have a very wide network.
For the startups, we came up with 25 questions that they could fill. These questions that we came up with are based on global accelerators like YC, Techstars, SOSV. Once you fill these up, taking 15-20 minutes, it will give you a score from 1 to 10. The idea is that over time somebody can take this questionnaire and it will tell you your score in different buckets, where you scored low and where you scored high. It could also give data within sectors like ecommerce or fintech, which percentile of all the startups that have applied you’re in. So far, we’ve had close to 2000 people apply using our website.
I think we have grown quite a bit in size. In terms of the tech scene as well. Until a few years ago like 2017/18, the total amount of funding coming into the Pakistani ecosystem was in the tens of millions of dollars. But, in 2021 the funding shot to 350 million dollars, which was 5x the amount of funding that came in the last previous 5 years. And in 2022, we did 350 million again, which are given in the public domain. Personally, I know startups that have raised money but have not been announced yet.
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