Pakistan-focused venture capital (VC) firm Sarmayacar is on track to hit the final close of its $30-million debut fund by April 2020, according to two sources close to the development.
One source told DealStreetAsia that CDC Group, a UK development finance institution, is expected to contribute as much as $5-10 million to the pot. Development financial institutions such as the FMO from the Netherlands, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), headquartered in the Philippines, are also expected to join.
Another source shared that the Pakistan-focused fund is raising from family offices and high net worth individuals (HNWIs) from Europe, the Middle East and Pakistan.
Sarmayacar declined to comment on this story.
In August, Sarmayacar made headlines for raising $2.5 million from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group. The move marked IFC’s foray into Pakistan’s venture ecosystem, a young and fast-emerging segment of the South Asian market.
Pakistan has seen a number of new VC funds emerge over the last year, including Fatima Gobi Partners’s $20 million fund, and i2i Ventures’s $15 million fund. A number of corporate-backed venture arms have also increased activity in the market, including Lakson Investments Venture Capital (under Lakson Group) and TPL E-Ventures (under TPL Corp).
With a proposed corpus of $30 million, Sarmayacar is one of Pakistan’s largest venture capital funds to date. It is led by Rabeel Warraich and Bernhard Klemen, former investment bankers at GIC, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan.
The VC firm last shared with DealStreetAsia in an interview that it hoped to bring an institutional approach to investing in Pakistan – a market that has little, if not, a poor understanding of venture capital and investing.
Saramaycar plans to invest in 15-20 seed to early-stage companies in technology-enabled sectors in Pakistan. Its ticket sizes range between $100,000 and $2 million with room for follow-on investments.
Its portfolio companies include Bykea, a ride-hailing platform; PublishEx, a carrier billing company; ProCheck, a patient engagement services provider; and Patari, an online music portal.