business
Monday Nov 15 2021
By
BDBusiness Desk

Startup boom in Pakistan: Salary-advance platform raises funds at $40m valuation

By
BDBusiness Desk
— Facebook/@abhikaropk
— Facebook/@abhikaropk

  • Abhi enables employees of its partners to withdraw their accrued wages anytime they want, through its web or mobile app.
  • App takes less than 30 seconds and two clicks for a registered user to access funds, with a flat 2% transaction fee.
  • Pakistan’s startup industry has received $300 million funding this year.


Karachi-based salary advance platform Abhi has raised funds at a $40 million valuation just four months after introducing its business, reported Bloomberg on Monday.

Founded by Omair Ansari and Ali Ladhubhai earlier this year, Abhi will enable employees of its partners to withdraw their accrued wages anytime they want, through its web or mobile app.

Earlier, the startup had raised $2 million for their seed round while their current bridge round was led by UAE-based Global Ventures — which invested for the first time in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s startup industry has been booming since the start of 2021 as it has received $300 million funding this year — a record amount that is more than the last six years combined.

Speaking to Bloomberg, Global Ventures general partner Noor Sweid said that Pakistan has trailed in its adoption to the internet economy and startup formation. “The startup boom in Pakistan is attracting global attention,” he said.

The Karachi-headquartered fintech — Abhi — has seen “explosive growth” that has prompted the bridge round, said CEO Ansari. The company plans its Series A round early next year.

The early wage access platform will start operations in Bangladesh early next year. There is no such platform in Sri Lanka and countries in the Middle East, Ansari said, providing expansion opportunities for the company.

How does it work?

The startup is an alternative to people asking their company, family or friends for cash, or making a credit card withdrawal to make ends meet until the next salary.

It aims to enable employees of its partners to withdraw salary advances based on their accrued wages at any time.

As the fintech will be funding these advances, they will have no effect on partner employer’s balance sheets and repayments will be deducted from the employee’s salary.

The app takes less than 30 seconds and two clicks for a registered user to access the funds, with a flat 2% transaction fee. The funds are automatically deducted from the next paycheck. Moreover, Abhi is also offering working capital to businesses.