Although still very young and raw, it can be argued that Pakistan’s technology industry is one of the few shining beacons in the country. In an environment where forgoing a stable job for an unstable startup is discouraged, where parents don’t understand what a startup is, where investors are often rooted in a traditional business mindset, no one can deny the fact that the people working in startups are true pioneers.
And since Plan X’s Demo Day is happening tomorrow, we decided to take a look at some of the trendiest startups to come out of Lahore.
Having raised a seed fund of US $220,000 in May 2015, Interacta is one of the hottest startups to come out of Lahore. The company aims to revolutionize the way you interact with your traditional television broadcasting using your smartphone to allow you to perform actions in real time like buying items in an add, voting during a reality competition show and loads of other things.
This music app, also known as the Spotify of Pakistan, is actually a lot cooler than Spotify and you know why? Because of its beautiful interface, their commitment to paying out their artists and their cute yet oh-so-sassy Patari Kitty. But most importantly, Patari is taking a stand to preserve and promote Pakistani music. Do check it out if you’re looking for the most awesome collection of Pakistani songs.
Ever been frustrated with which salon to get your bookings at for your cousin’s wedding when your trusted favorite is overbooked? Looking for great deals on a nice haircut? Want to try out a hygienic facial in the most affordable rates? If you answered yes to any of these questions your answer is BeautyHooked, a first of its kind beauty-tech startup in Pakistan. It has also been called the “FoodPanda for Beauty” for those of you who understand the language of food more than that of beauty (which is a lot of people in Lahore, including me).
Source: Tech in Asia
Wifigen, as the name suggests, provides a solution to the need of wifi in public spaces by helping customers and businesses at the same time. They do it by having businesses integrate their solution with their wifi and providing it for free to users who can only login to the wifi using any of their social media accounts; this will allow businesses to get user data for their business use and give free wifi to the customers. The company has also bee invested in by John Russell Patrick, former vice president at IBM and an early stage investor in Uber, valuing the company at US $1 million.
There’s Careem and Uber and then there’s Travly. While the former two are taxi cab services, Travly is a service that is rooted in Pakistani culture because it is a ride-hailing application for rickshaws. So if you’re ever stranded in an unknown part of your city and looking to get back home without breaking your bank you can hail a ‘tuk tuk’ from Travly. Travly has ambitious plans, however, as they’re looking to compete directly with Uber and Careem very soon with their own cab hailing services.
Handcrafted anything is a hallmark of not just Pakistan’s crafts industry, but Pakistan as a whole. Markhor is utilizing this very talent of small manufacturers who make shoes by hand to earn a meager income otherwise. With Markhor, they are able to sell their crafts to shoe enthusiasts all over the world, get their work showcased in every corner of the globe and make money while doing it from their homes, all thanks to Markhor.
Bookme is Pakistan’s first online ticket booking portal that supports major transport services and cinemas. All you need is to go to Bookme’s website and with one measly click get yourself the tickets delivered right at your doorstep to the latest release you’ve been dying to watch. Also, they’re valued at US$ 4 million, just fyi.
With the financial backing of PakWheels, Auto Genie is Pakistan’s first on-demand car maintenance service. So basically, they are a genie for your auto that you call by rubbing the lamp that is their website. Now, who doesn’t love a hassle free mechanic appointment where you don’t have to undergo the khwari of going there, waiting around in the heat and haggling over money.
Source: Baby Planet
Every young parent knows the struggle of finding the best quality products for their newborns for affordable prices. BabyPlanet is changing the way you shop for all things ‘baby’ (and older, too). A quick perusal of their website will allow you to browse for anything and everything you can imagine for a baby.
Source: LUMS Center for Entrepreneurship
The inventors of Nutella naan, which has now become a phenomenon in Lahore, Maro Tandoors is a venture by food loving young people from Lahore who are set on turning the staple bread of Pakistan from a boring vessel of scooping up saalan into something that is a meal and a half in itself. If you ever want to know what addiction feels like, you’re recommended to try out their insanely delicious Nutella naan.
Harbinger ComiX’s motto is ‘Imagination Unleashed’ and they make commercial comics grounded in, as per their own words, “Pakistani and partly-international socio-political dynamics with a particular focus on dark human nature, dystopian scenarios and criticism of crimes prevalent within our society”. The first series to be published is called Shaheen: Genesis.
Healthwire is a website that allows you to search for the best doctors near you as per specialization and book appointments with them. It provides a detailed profile of every doctor available on the website along with others’ experience and reviews so that you can make an informed choice.
King Kashmiri Tea
Source: King Kashmiri Tea
One of the favorite activity of Pakistanis is drinking tea, and if you’re looking for something fancy then it’s Kashmiri tea. And Kashmiri chai comes with a lot of preparation, special heirloom recipes and a whole lot of steeping and boiling. King Kashmiri Tea is looking to revolutionize the way you drink Kashmiri tea by giving teabag preparation of Kashmiri tea which tastes and looks the same as your nano ke ghar ki Kashmiri tea but takes less than 3 minutes to prepare.
If you’re looking to learn more about the startup culture and how it’s redefining the work environment in Pakistan, you should attend Demo Day at Arfa Technology Park and meet the different startups at the event.