Tiger Global Management LLC has jumped into the booming Pakistan startup market with an investment in small business-focused digital bookkeeping platform CreditBook, Bloomberg reported Friday (Dec. 17).
Tiger Global and Firstminute Capital LLP led the CreditBook fundraising round, which totaled $11 million. Existing investors Better Tomorrow Ventures LLC, VentureSouq, Ratio Ventures Ltd. and i2i Ventures joined the round.
Pakistani startups have seen more than $300 million in investment in the tech sector this year, more than the total fundraising in the past six years, Bloomberg reported.
“We have been studying the country and understand the country is at an inflection point seen before in other emerging markets,” said Sam Endacott, a partner at Firstminute.
Small businesses in Pakistan mostly operate using a manual register and handwritten entries in a mostly cash-based country, but the glut of tech startups could transform that long-standing structure. Pakistan has about 30 million micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises that operate manually and use cash.
Pakistan’s first buy now, pay later (BNPL) platform QisstPay recently raised $15 million in pre-seed and seed funding rounds to build out its adaptable, interest-free platform for installments. When chosen at checkout, QisstPay enables shoppers to pay in installments with no interest or late fees.
The installment tool gives Pakistanis the power to pay for items they need every day and helps them better manage their money.
Meanwhile, Thailand is will soon test a central bank digital currency (CBDC) and does not want any private competition in the payments sector, with Bank of Thailand Governor Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput dismissing cryptocurrencies as a viable option.
Thailand joins China and India among Asian countries that have formally banned crypto or are considering it as they work on a CBDC.
The Bank of Thailand (BoT) will release a paper of the country’s financial landscape in January that will set red lines banning certain activities in the field of digital currency, as well as other areas such as environmentally conscious finance, likely including a ban on commercial banks having any “direct involvement” in trading cryptocurrencies due to their volatility.