Approximately half of global food waste is of fruit and vegetables, 40% of which is wasted during transit. Ethylene--the natural ripening gas of climacteric fruit--can accumulate in the supply chain and lead to fruit decay and waste. Ripe aims to create software that monitors ethylene levels in food containers in real time during transport and allow business owners to make intelligent decisions regarding their stocks and selling options.
The rise of industrial agriculture and more adverse climate events in recent history have pushed smallholder farms to the edge. Green Planet aims to address smallholder farmers' well-being by introducing technology to make them more efficient as well as offer avenues for pivoting their businesses to remain competitive. They achieve this by i) digitizing farm management through ERP systems and introducing smart farming practices that incorporate data-based decision-making, and ii) educating farmers on developing unique value-added commodities like saffron, stevia, mushrooms, etc. that deliver higher profit margins.
Agriculture is the largest contributor to Pakistan's GDP (20%), employs over 40% of the workforce, and earns 80% of the foreign exchange through exports. Yet, the sector is on the declineintellig particularly for smallholder farmers who cannot access traditional financial resources because of their size. Hum Kissan is simplifying agricultural financing by connecting farmers, manufacturers, financial institutions and government on a single platform using a closed-loop wallet for end-to-end service.
Artificial fertilizers deplete soil nutrients and risk toxic overdose of chemicals that leach into the soil, further deteriorating soil quality and potentially affecting the growth of crops. Pakistan's agriculture sector plays a central role in the country's economy and the demand for quality fertilizer that also ensures soil sustainability is thousands of tonnes. Zumeera has developed an organic controlled-release, bioavailable fertilizer that is not only ecofriendly and prevents toxic buildup of chemicals but also increases crop yield by up to 3 times that of crops produced using traditional fertilizers.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
There are approximately 2.5 million amputees in Pakistan who are dependent on others for their most basic needs. The company aims to build a local prosthetic hand based on electromyography (EMG) that uses machine learning to promote the efficiency of prosthetic limbs through a feedback system, a fire alert system, solar charging, and a wireless armband system.
Roti is a staple food item in most South Asian diets. However, preparing rotis is also a time-consuming and tedious process. To cater to the needs of time-strapped individuals, automatic roti-making kitchen appliances have entered the market although with a hefty price tag. TechNM is developing an affordable alternative for people on a budget. Their rotimaker will use flour, water, and oil as inputs to prepare rotis, replacing the process of kneading dough, rolling out, and cooking.
Crop loss due to disease, insects, weeds, and other pests directly affect food security, nutrition, and livelihoods. Olektra AI aims to reduce crop loss by offering real-time disease and pest detection for crops by approximately 50%. The app will allow farmers to feed a video of their crops and receive advice and guidance on remedial action and precautionary measures in real time.
Inventory shrinkage can cost brick and mortar businesses billions of dollars every year. Most inventory shrinkage occurs due to theft, fraud, errors, and damage. Intelligent Guard's artificial intelligence-based software helps detect potential shoplifters using footage from the store's security cameras to notify managers that a crime is about to take place before it happens. The software is also capable of alerting the police when a robbery is happening in real time as well as detecting fire hazards.
Appropriate waste management is a growing concern in most urban areas of Pakistan. REsource is a social impact enterprise that aims to provide professional waste investigation, guidance, services and infrastructure to reduce the waste footprint of cities. Along with providing sorting bins for households and businesses, REsource is also offering free resources to educate people about sorting at source as well as an online portal that facilitates selling and donating recyclable and compostable items.
Pakistan produces 3.3 million tons of plastic waste every year causing toxins to enter our ecosystems and affecting human and animal lives. RePlaste wants to reduce the impact of plastics through a circular economy system. Adopting a holistic approach, they aim to instigate behaviour change through education, workshops, and habit-changing challenges, along with upcycling plastics to create innovative products that can be reused or sold.
Building projects require a variety of material inputs, from cement to wood, bricks, steel and everything in between. Unfortunately, there is no single place in Pakistan that sells all of these under one roof and customers have to spend considerable time researching options and sourcing from several different outlets. DepotFox.com aims to ease this process of building a house or office by offering an online one-stop shop for quality assured construction materials delivered using its own logistics network.
While online shopping has boomed globally, the e-commerce fashion industry in Pakistan remains untapped because customers are reluctant to buy products where size and quality are of critical importance without being sure of what they will receive and the associated hassle returning/exchanging items. With industry revenue growing at a CAGR of 14.2% and user base expected to reach 43.8 million by 2025, Credenza aims to tap into this market by offering door-to-door service connecting small-scale and boutique fashion brands with customers. Acting as a middle man, Credenza assumes responsibility for quality and offers a hassle-free return/exchange process while managing deliveries and logistics for small-scale businesses
Online grocers and food retailers are one of the fastest growing segments in today’s e-commerce market. Grocery shopping in Pakistan can be tiresome and time-consuming: customers have to battle traffic, face unregulated market prices, cannot find everything they need under one roof, stand in long queues at the cash counter, and now, also risk the spread of disease. StoreToDoor is an online shopping platform and delivery service that customers can use to buy all essentials from the comfort of their homes. Their unique supply chain allows them to cater to the needs of not just individual consumers but also bigger corporate clients as well as supply stock to small shop owners.
The growing e-commerce food market was worth $1+ billion last year. Brick and mortar restaurants do not have the kitchen capacity to tap into this opportunity while also continuing to serve their in-house customers. Their delivery orders are also restricted to areas within a limited radius of the restaurant and cannot serve customers living further away. Gumatoo will provide low-cost shared-use kitchens and delivery service that restaurants can rent to prepare delivery-optimized menu items, allowing them to expand to new areas. The facilities are also ideal for aspiring food entrepreneurs in need of commercial space.
Weddings in Pakistan are a multitrillion rupee industry, employing about 10 million people across a variety of businesses including fashion, event management, catering, floristry, and photography, to name a few. While an exciting process for families, wedding planning can also be stressful and time-consuming with many decisions at stake. Shadighar aims to simplify the experience by creating an online one-stop shop for all things wedding-related. Their platform allows customers to search, compare, and buy wedding-related products and services from a variety of vendors across 15 categories including venue, clothing, catering, photography, transport, all with the click of a button.
With e-commerce poised to overtake physical retail in the next 5 years, fashion brands have a unique challenge and opportunity to transform how people shop online and cash in on increasing demand. Trendin' aims to step in as an e-commerce aggregator that makes fashion highly intelligent and social for both buyers and sellers. Offering a curated and personalized shopping experience based on data analytics, shoppers will get recommendations based on their size, preferences, and what's trending. In addition, they can create and save different looks and tag and interact with others to recreate the social ritual of shopping with friends. Fashion brands will benefit through increased visibility and engagement as their products get featured on trends boards and as part of outfits stylized from across different brands.
Children today are growing up as digital natives, constantly interacting with screens and increasingly accessing knowledge through digital resources. Traditional textbooks are failing to meaningfully engage children in a way that promotes learning. Souch aims to enhance books using Augmented Reality to engage readers in an immersive and interactive 3D learning experience that can be accessed through a free mobile app on any smartphone.
With the option to skip ads, online advertisers are facing increasingly lower user engagement. EMTEN Pakistan aims to help small-scale brands with digital advertisement using edutainment. The online platform runs regular live trivia and quiz games where participants can earn credit and prizes by answering questions about a variety of topics including questions related to particular brands advertising during showtime. The model ensures perfect user engagement for the brands’ benefit while giving participants a chance to cash in on their knowledge.
EDMY (PVT) Limited
Evening coaching and private tuition centres have a monopoly over exam preparation classes for high school students, often demanding exorbitant fees for low quality and large group classes. EDMY aims to give students access to the same top faculty at a fraction of the cost through quality e-learning content that is aligned with examination board syllabi. The content is developed and delivered using pedagogical approaches designed specifically for online learning and covers the same material within a shorter time through targeted learning outcomes.
At 8.54%, the rate of youth unemployment in Pakistan is significantly high. This is particularly acute in more remote areas like rural Punjab where despite earning graduate degrees, youth still lack practical skills and find themselves ill-prepared for the job market. FastTech Media aims to address this void by equipping youth with practical in-demand skills through 3-month short courses in digital and IT skills including web development, SEO, Java, PHP, digital marketing and graphic designing that can open the door to local as well as remote employment opportunities.
Current classroom education does not equip students for the real world. While educational resources to fill these gaps have been developed for older students preparing for the job market, Study Assist believes that these are essential life skills that need to be imparted at a younger age. Their aim is to target 6-18 year olds, providing them after-school support that fosters curiosity, critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration to build essential 21st century skills through digital learning solutions.
E-commerce growth in Pakistan has been slow, primarily because of low credit card penetration and an absence of trust in online platforms and payment systems. For merchants, this translates into a high rate of shopping cart abandonment. KalPay steps in as a shariah compliant credit lender promoting a buy now, pay later service that gives customers who do not have credit cards, such as students, access to credit which can be paid off with 0% interest. KalPay also facilitates merchants by striving to reduce their cash conversion cycle.
Over 90% of the Pakistani population consumes loose milk which is often adulterated and poses many health hazards. Dairy Bazar is a farm-to-table solution connecting dairy farmers to consumers by eliminating traditional middlemen who add adulterants to increase their profit margins. Taking on the responsibility of ensuring quality and timely delivery, Dairy Bazar works directly with dairy farmers to help market and brand their product while presenting customers a variety of vendors and loose milk products to choose from.
Despite comprising over half the population, women's participation in the labour force in Pakistan is low, in part due to social and cultural factors including restrictions on mobility, domestic responsibilities, and a lack of support from within and outside the home. Home-based businesses, particularly food catering, can be viable alternatives for gaining financial security and economic independence. Food Drive aims to facilitate women-led catering businesses through a customized delivery service that accommodates their needs. The service will also facilitate the visible representation of women entrepreneurs which in turn will help break stereotypes and encourage other women to take the leap into entrepreneurship.
HealthTech and LifeSciences
Intelligent Drug Dispensary
Getting medical prescriptions filled/refilled is still a manual process in Pakistan where patients have to physically visit a doctor followed by the pharmacy and can cause delays in patients getting the medication they need on time. Intelligent Drug Dispensary makes the process efficient by connecting physicians/surgeons to patients and pharmacies through a unique predictive prescription writing application working in real time. The system will allow for the creation of validated medical history records accessible by all relevant parties, bypass misinterpretation of prescriptions due to illegibility, and also cut short on time spent on educating the patient about the prescription.
Over 9 million women in Pakistan suffer from mental illnesses and problems arising from marital conflicts, domestic violence, and societal pressures. Mental health is still misunderstood and the stigma associated with counselling deters many women from seeking the help they need. Women Retreat promotes women's health and wellbeing through in house, outdoor, and online retreats that create safe and nurturing spaces for experiential learning and self-discovery as an alternative to conventional therapy and open the door of support that women need.
Moving a home or relocating to a new office space is a stressful process, made worse by worrying about the safety and security of one's possessions. Load-Ease aims to eliminate the stress of moving by providing a safe and secure moving service for homes, offices, machinery and industrial units. With a focus on delivering excellent customer service, Load-Ease offers 24/7 availability, GPS and time tracking, trained packing and driving staff, and insurance against loss or damage.
Textile, Fashion and Clothing
Hajjam is a hair and beauty bookings platform that gives control to customers and salon managers by letting customers choose from a directory of salons and services and book appointments at times and prices that suit them. The platform also gives visibility to virtual salons and stylists who offer at-home services by connecting them to customers who prefer the convenience of home for their treatments.
Transport and Logistics
Intercity travel by road in Pakistan is restricted to a handful of bus services which operate along designated routes with specific departure and arrival points. Manzel is a long-distance carpooling service that connects drivers with empty seats in their cars to people travelling the same way. It offers a personalized and more efficient travel experience where drivers and passengers can coordinate routes and pick up/drop off points and the comfort of a private car. The same service can also be used for transporting cargo and parcels.
The freight industry is still marred by inefficiencies that include an over-dependence on manual and labour-intensive brokering, insecurity, and under-utilized trucks running on inefficient routes, resulting in high costs for shippers. TransGo is developing a digital freight matching network that matches shipper demand for carrier capacity. The network will allow carriers to show available spare capacity and be automatically connected with shippers along the same route. Shippers will get competitive and transparent rates upfront and can track in-transit shipments in real time so they always know the status of their shipments.
Motorcycles are the primary vehicles of choice for urban logistics and delivery services and the motorcycle logistics network saw even exponential growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. Rairhi-Ja is introducing single-wheel motorbike trailers to increase the cargo capacity of these motorcycles and make them safer for riders as well as others on the road. The detachable trailers track the existing width and shape of motorcycles and their modular design allows for customizable configurations to suit individual needs.