In Q3-2021, the Next-11 countries (excluding Iran) saw at least 266 venture investments, with a reported invested capital of US$5.6 billion, across technology startups. This was a 69% increase in funding compared to Q2-2021 and reaffirmed an increased interest among global VCs in the potential of these countries.
The Next Eleven (or N-11) are eleven countries—Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, South Korea, Turkey, and Vietnam— identified by Goldman Sachs investment bank as having a high potential of becoming the world’s largest economies in the 21st century along with the BRICs. Together, these countries have a population of approximately 1.5 billion, with 0.8 billion internet and social media users and a GDP of US$ 16 trillion (PPP). With a relatively young population, growing middle class, fortifying digital infrastructure and a strong pool of STEM graduates, these countries are increasingly becoming hotbeds for startups and venture capital.
Pakistani startups raised at least US$78 M venture capital in the first half of 2021, with 89 VCs from 15 countries participating in 25 deals. Ecommerce, fintech and healthtech verticals attracted the most capital. Tajir, Finja and Dawaai were among the top fundraisers.
Although this was a relatively low level of activity compared to other similar countries in Goldman Sachs’s Next-11 group of countries, investments in Pakistani startups have been showing strong growth over the past years. Compared to the first half of 2019, reported investments in the first half of 2021 increased by 11x, while the number of deals increased by 1.5x which is better than most N-11 countries.