The year 2022 was a successful one for the tech industry in Pakistan, as the Covid-19 pandemic created many opportunities for startups and small tech business acquisitions. The tech industry in Pakistan generated a revenue of $2.616 billion, representing a 24% increase from $2.108 billion in 2021. Information Communication Technology (ICT) Analyst at Topline Securities, Nasheed Malik, stated that this marks a major achievement for Pakistan, as it indicates a strong and thriving startup ecosystem. Pakistani startups, however, have not reached a point where they can exit through initial public offerings (IPOs) at the stock exchange and instead, exits are through mergers and acquisitions.
One of the notable acquisitions was 10Pearls, Pakistan’s biggest IT company, which acquired two IT setups including Whiz, a Peru-based software development company, and Pixel506, a Brooklyn-born, Costa Rica-based digital agency. Systems Limited, Pakistan’s biggest tech service provider, acquired NdcTech, a leading IT and consulting company, which operates as a fully-owned subsidiary under the same CEO, Ammara Masood.
Additionally, PostEx a fintech operator, acquired Call Courier, a logistics service provider, making it the largest e-commerce service provider in the country. US-based DigitalOcean Holdings Inc. acquired Cloudways, a Pakistani web-hosting firm, for $350 million, which is one of the biggest acquisitions by the value of a Pakistani startup by an American firm. Swiss company ZoodPay made a 100% acquisition of Tez Financial Services (Tez), positioning itself as a key new player in the digital lending and fintech industry in Pakistan.
Overall, these acquisitions are an indication that Pakistan-made startups are becoming more financially stable and management-wise more expressive and this trend is expected to continue in the near future.