WeRaise

MOVE

THE NEEDLE

WeRaise is a World Bank Group program that aims to move the needle on the number of deals closed by women CEOs of Pakistan by providing investment readiness and bespoke capital raising coaching and support.

MOVE

THE NEEDLE

WeRaise is a World Bank Group program that aims to move the needle on the number of deals closed by women CEOs of Pakistan by providing investment readiness and bespoke capital raising coaching and support.

As we celebrate the success of Pakistani startups in raising capital, WeRaise is deeply concerned about the gender gap in the capital being raised. If we were to zoom in a bit, 2020 and 2021 have been exciting years for male-led startups in Pakistan. The bleak number of deals closed by women CEOs is alarming. 3 to 4 deals closed by women CEOs out of 80+ deals in 2021 just do not make the cut for an inclusive ecosystem.
To solve this challenge together, WeRaise is proud to partner with the statup ecosystem players of investors, ESOs, financial players, mentors and other support organisations within the ecosystem to ‘Move the Needle’ on capital raising for investible women CEOs in Pakistan by Considering, Connecting, and Capacitating.

Consider

Considering WeRaise’s portfolio companies as an investor.

Connect

Connecting WeRaise startups with partners’ networks.

Capacitate

Capacitating the startups and coaches by sharing constructive feedback.

Aatif Awan

Indus Indus Valley Capital

"The glaring gap in VC funding for women founders is a huge challenge across the globe. Pakistani ecosystem is in its early days and thus we have an opportunity to set a strong equitable foundation by having more women founders and operators. Therefore, I have taken the pledge with WeRaise to Move the Needle on the number of deals being closed by women founders to make Pakistani startup ecosystem more inclusive, innovative and diverse."

Misbah Naqvi

i2i Ventures

i2i Ventures is committed to increasing the gender diversity among the entrepreneurial community in Pakistan by supporting and investing in women entrepreneurs. We have partnered with WeRaise to provide women a platform to grow as entrepreneurs and add value to their business, so that they may successfully raise funds to continue their growth. This work at the top of the investing pipeline funnel is crucial to ensuring that women-led startups are not just investment worthy but also investment ready.

Tina Daher

Shorooq Partners

"Closing the gender gap in investing is a serious concern. Fueling the growth of women-owned enterprises will unleash new ideas, services, and products into the markets. It has the courage to change the wolrd and go beyond boosting economic activity. This shall bring numerous opportunities and untap potential in various ways. I am humbled to be part of this cause through WeRaise to Move the Needle in the direction to establish communities."

Success
Stories

$ 0 M

Pre Seed Round

$ 0 K

Sequoia Spark Fellowship Grant

$ 0

Bridge Round

$ 0 Million

Seed Round

Our
Coaches & Mentors

Yasser Bashir

CO-FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER AT ARBISOFT

Yasser Bashir is the founder and CEO of Arbisoft (Pvt.) Ltd – a software and technology development company named among the fastest growing software services businesses in Pakistan by the AllWorld Network. Arbisoft employs over 120 people and has built partnerships with some of the leading technology businesses and institutions around the world.  Yasser is also the CEO and founder of DeepPixels which is a medical image processing company. Before the start of his entrepreneurial journey, Yasser held key positions at Orthoclear, Align Technology and WorldWerx.  Yasser received a BS from the Lahore University of Management Sciences and an MS from Stanford University.

Fatima Mazhar

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO) AT COLABS | ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER AT JIYE KISAN

Fatima Mazhar is the Chief Operations Officer (COO) at COLABS. It is Pakistan’s fastest growing flexible workspace thoughtfully designed to enable people and businesses to grow. The community is a mix of freelancers, startups, SMEs and MNCs (Including Rocket Internet, Patari, SadaPay, 10pearls, USAID, OMD and Coca Cola).

Fatima is also an Advisory Board Member at Jiye Kisan which connects farmers to retail markets using cutting edge Agri Tech and Lean Supply Chain methods. 

Her professionally compelling career is equipped with dynamic positions in the past. She has worked  as a Co-founder at Dukan and was the General Manager at KeepTruckin and Careem. Fatima completed her MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, did her MS from the University of Pittsburgh and received a BS degree from Washington College.

Mannan Amin

COFOUNDER AT TINTASH

Mannan Amin is the Co-founder at Tintash- a tech design and dev studio where talented, skilled and experienced teams are led by Stanford University, Apple, and Paypal Alumni. It specializes in providing dedicated remote team members to aspiring entrepreneurs, promising startups, and growing companies.Their clients include several Startups, two Unicorns and three Fortune 500 companies.

Before Tintash, Mannan has also worked at GetIncredibles as its Cofounder. This is a marketplace for Top Contract Talent providing top notch experienced industry professionals hand picked for work quality, communication, and self management. Mannan has also served as an Asst. Professor for Strategy and Entrepreneurship at School of Management. He completed his BSc and MBA from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). Adding to his education, Mannan did MS from Stanford University in Entrepreneurship. 

Ozair Ali

CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO) AT COLABS | ADVISORY BOARD MEMBER AT JIYE KISAN

Ozair helped co-found and lead Alter as COO until the end of 2020. Ozair works with entrepreneurs to provide them with access to talent and capital. His past work experience across Asia and Europe developed expertise in helping scale businesses in frontier markets, particularly in technology, infrastructure and finance. Ozair has previously worked at the Central Bank of Pakistan and at CID at Harvard University. He holds an MBA from Stanford, an MPA/ID from Harvard, and a BA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Sriraj

SEA Startup Specialist

Sriraj serves as a Business Development Lead at Aspire which is the all-in-one finance operating system for growing businesses. Their mission is to empower the next generation of entrepreneurs with the financial tools they need to realise their company’s full potential. To fulfil this purpose, Sriraj is assisting the organization to make a meaningful impact to the communities we all are part of. 

He has completed his Bachelor degree from the University of Murdoch in Banking and Management. His past experience is equipped with notable positions in Cash-IN-Asia where he worked as a Sales and Operations Manager and Senior Relationship Manager. 

Mubariz Siddiqui

Lawyer | Independent Practitioner

Mubariz Siddiqui is an experienced legal practitioner with a demonstrated history of working with early stage businesses and investors in the technology industry.

It has been more than seven years since Mubariz has been working as a practitioner. His portfolio consists of non-contentious matters pertaining to general corporate advisory, finance, acquisitions, banking, media law, competition law, and intellectual property. Practice primarily focused on startups and early stage businesses. Associated with The Nest i/o and P@SHA as an entrepreneur in residence, Mubariz assisted  various tech startups and companies on a range of legal issues.

He has also acted for various eminent start ups and investors to structure and negotiate seed stage equity financing. The key tasks undertaken by him include structuring and negotiating the transaction documents.

His representative list of clients includes: Sarmayacar, Keep Truckin, Swvl, i2i Ventures, Magnus Communication, Bykea, Brandverse, Artistic Ventures, Patari, Eat Mubarak, ProCheck, MandiExpress, Modulus Tech, and WonderTree.

Mubariz has also worked as a General Counsel at Sarmayacar and as a Legal Advisor at Bykea. He holds an LLB Degree from the University of London. 

Rafiq Malik

COO at Bykea

Rafiq is a founding member and COO at Bykea, Pakistan’s largest network of motorbikes serving transport, logistics, and payment services. It has been more than 5 years since he joined the organization. He graduated from the University of Western Ontario in Canada and worked in the Trucking and Logistics Industry for 8 years. His professionally challenging career consists of experiential roles. In 2012, he moved back to Pakistan to head operations for TNT Express, the 4th largest courier aggregator in the world at the time, a business acquired by Fedex in 2016.

Aneel Peter

Partner at Peter & Co. Chartered Accountants

Partner at Peter & Co. Chartered Accountants, Aneel aims to provide assurance, tax and advisory services to his clients. he has over 17 years of experience across regions and Big4. He has been PMO of multi-million dollar projects and have managed internal/external audits, processed improvements and assessed money laundering investigations. He completed his Chartered Accountancy from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan.

Rohma Labeeb

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professional

Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Professional, Rohma currently works at Accelerate Prosperity as an innovator and learning lead. It is an Enterprise Business Accelerator co-designed and promoted by the Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and Industrial Promotion Services (IPS) of the Aga Khan Development Network. It tailors finances and technical assistance to potential entrepreneurs and existing businesses. Her determination to see entrepreneurship prosper in Pakistan is evident from her entrancing career choices. She is working for Invest2Innovate as an Accelerator and Partnerships Lead and has served as Grants Coordinator at Human Development Foundation. She holds a Masters` degree in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship from The London School of Economics and Political science (LSE).

Shivani Siroya

CEO & Founder at Tala

Shivani Siroya, Founder/CEO of Tala, a leading financial technology company in emerging markets that has grown operations to Kenya, Phillipine, Mexico and India, and has raised over $200 M in funding for growth & expansion. Tala is backed by leading venture and impact investors including PayPal, Revolution, IVP, Ribbit Capital, Data Collective, and Lowercase Capital. Prior to founding Tala, Shivani held a variety of positions in global health, microfinance, and investment banking, including with the United Nations Population Fund, Health Net, Citigroup and UBS. Shivani is an Aspen Institute Finance Leader Fellow, a WEF Young Global Leader, Senior TED Fellow and Ashoka Fellow. She is also on the board of Stellar. She holds a M.P.H from Columbia University and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

Salman Chattha

Former Principal at Sarmayacar

Salman serves as a Principal at Sarmayacar which is an early stage venture capital firm investing in Pakistani startups. He gained his professional experience at PwC where he obtained his CPA, CA designation and went to further his finance experience with roles at Royal Bank of Canada and National Bank of Canada. In January 2019, Salman relocated back to Pakistan to join Sarmayacar in its investment functions. He has completed his Graduate Diploma in Public Accounting from McGill University.

Babar Rashid Khan

Entrepreneur | Growth & Branding Specialist

Being an Entrepreneur and a Growth Branding Specialist , Babar seems to be creative who strives to create or fund movements that benefit the world at large. Notable highlights include Uth Oye!, AUJ, Shopistan and ARY Zauq. Served at executive capacities at MTV, ARY, Stoneage & FarazManan, with focus on brand building and strategy through design based innovation. He is an Advisory Committee Member at MOC and Cofounder of Sabsaath which is a Relief Portal that provides cash, food and medical supplies to those most in need. The diversity of his career is backed up by strategic roles as he serves as a Cofounder of GSMB Ventures which is a vertically integrated group of companies solving large problems in the retail sector of Pakistan. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Nebraska and currently he works as an Executive Committee Member at IVS.

Anusheh Naveed Ashraf

Head of Credit at Oraan

Anusheh is the head of Credit at Oraan, which is Pakistan’s first women-led, women-first fintech, creating alternative financial solutions to empower the underserved. Previously, Anusheh served as the Head of Digitization, Research & Strategy at U Microfinance Bank Limited.

Saad Idrees

Cofounder at DaftarKhwan

It has been more than five years for Saad to serve as a Cofounder & CEO at DaftarKhwan. The organization aims to provide an agile workplace that can adapt to the evolving needs of the modern-day. It offers a high-performance & vibrant work-space that attracts and retains talent. The focus is to foster a community of professionals & entrepreneurs pursuing diverse career paths and to equip them with infrastructure designed for collaborations & collective learning. Saad`s past experience is equipped with strategic roles whereby he has been a Consultant at World Bank and Teredata. He has completed his Bachelors BSc. (Hons) in Computer Science from Lahore University of Management Sciences.

Brigitte Baumann

efino

Brigitte is the Founder of efino and GoBeyond Early Stage Investing. In 2017, Brigitte was selected in EY’s European Winning Women Entrepreneur program. Brigitte is a Business Angel since 2003 and received The European Investor of the Year award  in 2015.  Since 2016, Brigitte is listed in Europe’s TOP 50 most influential women in the startup and venture capital space and Top Women in FinTech. Brigitte is President Emeritus of EBAN, the European trade association for Business Angels and Seed Funds www.eban.org .Brigitte  is Chair of Young Presidents Organization’s www.ypowpo.org global Deal Network (10k CEOs). Brigitte Baumann has 30+ years of  experience in bringing new technologies to market in the US and Europe . Brigitte holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University, Boston and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Kalsoom Lakhani

Invest2Innovate

Kalsoom is the Founder of Invest2Innovate, which she founded in 2011 to support and unleash the potential of young entrepreneurs in growth markets like Pakistan. She’s now a Co-founder & General Partner at i2i Ventures, an early stage VC fund for Pakistan, and the country’s first female-led fund. She has trained & coached young entrepreneurs, changemakers, and civil society leaders in Kosovo, Nepal, Cambodia, Ireland, Bangladesh, Ukraine, and Kazakhstan, and has spoken at numerous venues on entrepreneurship & startup ecosystems, including the World Economic Forum, Aspen Ideas Festival, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, and SXSW

Kalsoom brings 10+ years of knowledge/background on the Pakistan startup landscape and emerging markets, to provide relevant and contextualized support and feedback to WeRaise companies, including an understanding of investor dynamics in the market. She is strong on business strategy and how that feeds into fundraising.

Jan Lederman

Valhalla Private Capital

During her 35+ year career as counsel to investors, as deal lawyer, and as advisor and investor in businesses, Jan has developed a passion for helping entrepreneurs succeed and generating wealth for themselves, their employees, and their communities. In her work she has tried to pay particular attention to the unique challenges experienced by female founders and to encourage women who can, to become knowledgeable angel investors. She has been fortunate to be able share her passion with others and add value to the startup ecosystem around the world.

Maria Carolina Romero

efino

Maria-Carolina has been a Business Angel since 2012. She has a portfolio of 10+ investments – high-tech startups in Europe and MENA region. Maria-Carolina is an active investor, trainer, coach and mentor and focuses on designing and developing investor communities and entrepreneurship sustainable ecosystems globally. As Partner at efino, she is currently leading learning investor programs in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. Maria-Carolina led Portfolio Products and Investor Groups at Go Beyond Investing. She was Executive Director of an awarded Human Capital Fund in Latam (LUMNI). She has a solid experience in business development, fundraising and strategic planning. María Carolina holds an M.Sc in Government and International Affairs and a Master in Business Administration in Management of Technology and Entrepreneurship from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale à Lausanne.

Mehvish Arifeen

Invest2Innovate

Mehvish is currently the CEO of invest2innovate. An experienced Co-Founder and Women’s Economic Inclusion and Business Development expert. Mehvish has a demonstrated history in creating impact for urban and rural women led micro,small and medium enterprises. She is specialized in Gender Mainstreaming, Financial Inclusion, Market Research, Operations and Cross-Sector collaborations. She has experience in training over 1500 entrepreneurs in business development and financial management over the course  of her career. 

Mina Salman

Founder of Bagallery.com

Mina Salman is the Founder of Bagallery.com, also is also heading Private Labels and Strategy at Bagallery. 
Bagallery.com is a Fashion, Beauty, and Lifestyle e-commerce shopping destination with a powerful mix of local and imported brand portfolios. Founded in 2017, the company has had immense success with one of the best influencer networks in Pakistan. Their vision is to be the preferred fashion, beauty, and lifestyle shopping destination for women and men alike.

Amina Ahmad

European Programs lead at Village Capital

Amina is Non-Executive Director at The Social Investment Business and European Programs lead at Village Capital, the venture impact investor, where she has launched their flagship sustainability accelerator program, the first of its kind to focus on female founders exclusively.
 
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, she has also graduated from the Year Here Social Innovation Fellowship, cementing her passion for impact. She recently joined the World Economic Forum’s Sustainability Forum as an Expert Reviewer. Previously, Amina co-founded two platform businesses, the most recent a circular sustainability business in the UK. 
 
Amina’s focus is directing capital to underestimated founding teams building much-needed solutions to financial and climate equity. 
 

Kamran Azim

Chief Executive Officer-Taleem Finance Company Ltd

Mr. Kamran Azim is a Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) with over 25 years of diversified and multi-sectoral experience, ranging from management consultancy and assurance practice in KPMG Pakistan to managing the financial and corporate matters of a multinational oil marketing company Total Parco Pakistan Ltd and then heading the business of a leading microfinance institution, Kashf Foundation for over 14 years. In his previous role as the Chief Operating Officer at Kashf Foundation, he oversaw the country level business activities in a network of over 300 branches spread across Pakistan. He has laid the foundations of the first Education Finance Non-Banking Finance Company in Pakistan, Taleem Finance Company Ltd (Funded by Gray Matters Capital-USA) as its Founder CEO since August 2019.   Mr. Azim is well regarded for his contributions in various sectoral dialogues of senior executives and practitioners on best corporate governance practices, effective internal controls as well as policy development specially for the Micro and SME sectors in Pakistan. He has also been a keynote speaker at major national and international events in the development sector in USA, UK, Zurich, Panama, Mauritius and Africa. He has attended strategic leadership trainings at the Harvard Business School, Wharton University and Oxford University. In addition to being a visiting faculty on Strategic Business Management at leading CA institutes for over 15 years, He is also a trainer in the Institute of Chartered Accountants’ (ICAP), Directors training programs as well as many other capacity building initiatives of ICAP for young CAs.  He has a strong passion for the development sector and has dedicated the last two decades in working with marginalized communities including low cost private schools to provide them impactful financial and non-financial services. Mr. Azim has been to India, Bangladesh, Romania, Indonesia, and Lebanon for studying the dynamics of social and economic issues being faced by low income households and marginalized women led businesses globally. He has also been a member of the Civil Society Organizations group of the World Bank/IMF and represented the Pakistani civil society in the partnership for change initiative in Oslo, Norway.

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