The National Science and Technology Park (NSTP) SEZ committee approved the entry applications of three new firms in its third meeting. The firms will have significant FDI that will boost the confidence of foreign investors in Pakistani tech startups.
Following the establishment of the NSTP in NUST, Islamabad, as a Special Economic Zone (SEZ), the colonization of the area started with the entry of domestic and international R&D-based businesses, with 25+ firms already receiving the Zone Enterprise Status in the committee’s first two meetings in the year 2022.
The applicants include PriceOye, an e-commerce company developing marketplace for consumer electronics, OrbitEd (Cygnus Creative Software Pvt Ltd), an ED Tech company developing an eLearning platform for Virtual Reality (VR) for training apps for enterprise business, and AlfaBolt, a fintech company with product Nomad, an easy payment platform, and AlfaBolt Analytics, which aids businesses in identifying actions that drive user value. Recently, PriceOye received seed money from a large number of investors, including Peter Thiel, the founder of PayPal.
BeeNext, DG Daiwa, Mantis VC, HOF Capital, Palm Drive Capital, and Atlas Ventures, in addition to prior backers Fatima Gobi Ventures, SOSV, and Artistic Ventures, supported PriceOye’s $ 7.9 million seed round.
The female-led ed-tech business called Orbit-Ed received a $ 500,000 investment from Boost VC in Silicon Valley, increasing its total pre-seed funding to $ 800,000.
Together, these companies will be bringing in US$8.5 million in foreign investment to produce their respective goods/solutions and several hi-tech jobs will be created.
By granting these businesses the status, the government will be able to exempt them from import taxes and income taxes, enabling them to grow into national and regional successes which will help the country’s standing on the Global Innovation Index improve.
NSTP, a project by Pakistan’s leading STP university, National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was given the SEZ designation at the Board of Approvals’ sixth meeting, which was held on October 7, 2020, with the prime minister serving as chair.
The third committee meeting was chaired by Dr Rizwan Riaz, Pro-Rector (RIC) NUST and VP NSTP, with Kamran Ashraf, Manager Projects, NSTP, and officials from federal and district administration in attendance.