ABHI, a Pakistani startup, raises funds at a valuation of $90 million

Within a year of launching its firm, Pakistani financial platform Abhi Pvt. received money at a $90 million valuation, becoming the latest startup to profit from investors' growing interest in the South Asian country.

Speedinvest led the $17 million Series A investment for the Karachi-based startup, marking the venture capital firm's first stake in Pakistan, according to Abhi Chief Executive Officer Omair Ansari in an interview. Global Ventures, VentureSouq, VEF, Sturgeon Capital, Rallycap, FJ Labs, Fatima Gobi, Sarmayacar, and i2i Ventures were among those that took part. 

Pakistan is drawing investors looking to fund businesses in one of the world's remaining significant undeveloped marketplaces. Companies raised more than $350 million in the country last year, more than the previous six years combined. Kleiner Perkins, Tiger Global Management, and Dragoneer Investment Group are among the organisations that have lately made their first investments in the nation.

The loan firm provides an option to consumers asking their job, family, or friends for money to get by until their next paycheck. It also provides small and medium-sized businesses with working capital finance. The business is currently cash-flow positive. 

A registered user may access the funds in less than 30 seconds and with two clicks, with a flat 2 percent transaction cost. The money are withdrawn automatically from your following paycheck.

Ansari, the co-founder, formerly headed two funds at Morgan Stanley, where he was seeking for investment possibilities in consumer firms and fintech in emerging and frontier countries. From China to Brazil, he assisted with early-stage investments in fintech businesses. He was also a consultant for VEF, a firm that focuses on fintech in frontier and emerging countries.

Since a previous round in November, the firm has raised its user base to 650,000 from about 200,000, and it has also on-boarded over 150 enterprises. Individuals are gaining access to 15% to 20% of their monthly pay through the site, according to Ansari. 

"Abhi has the potential to improve millions of lives across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia," said Stefan Klestil, general partner at Speedinvest. "It's no surprise they've established themselves as one of Pakistan's fastest-growing businesses."

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