Valhalla Private Capital
Maria Carolina Romero
Stewart (Randy) Thompson
Valhalla Private Capital
In the last five years, women-led startups in Pakistan only raised 3% of the startup ecosystem’s total funding. WeRaise is a new World Bank Group initiative that aims to address this gap by supporting high growth capital women-led companies in Pakistan to attract and raise capital to grow their businesses. Powered by the Bank’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Finance Initiative (We-Fi), WeRaise is being implemented by Invest2Innovate (i2i)and global partners efino and Valhalla Private Capital.
Over the next two years, WeRaise will support 30+ women-led Pakistani companies – selected through a competitive process – in raising capital from investors in Pakistan and worldwide through an investment readiness and capital raising coaching and support program. Selected startups will benefit from a tailored and be-spoke coaching and support program, which will include hands-on guidance from world class investment readiness coaches, access to a pool of local and international mentors & experts, capital raising seminars and topical resources, and connections with investors, all in service to raising funding to grow & scale their companies.
As we celebrate the success of Pakistani startups in raising capital, WeRaise is deeply concerned about the gender gap in the capital that is 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-led companies is alarming. 2 to 3 deals closed by women-led companies out of 50+ deals in 2021 just do not make the cut for an inclusive ecosystem.
We at WeRaise (a World Bank capital raise coaching program for women-led companies implemented by i2i, Valhalla Private Capital, and Efino) are solving for some critical questions and challenges existing in the ecosystem in regards to the dearth of investible women-led companies raising funds: how many of the startups that are in the pipeline for the future are led by women? How many of them are being looked at by the investor community seriously? And from the women-led startups that are looked at seriously, how many deals are closing?
To solve this challenge together, WeRaise is proud to introduce our investing partners, strategic partners, and mentors, who will take a pledge to “Move the Needle with WeRaise” on the number of deals being closed by women-led companies together.
Through our strategic partnerships, our partners will “Move the Needle with WeRaise” on capital raising for investible women-led companies in Pakistan by Considering, Connecting, and Capacitating investible women founders in the fundraising pipeline.
In the last five years, women-led startups in Pakistan only raised 3% of the startup ecosystem’s total funding ($192 M). WeRaise is a new World Bank Group initiative that aims to address this gap by supporting high growth capital women-led companies in Pakistan to attract and raise capital to grow their businesses. Powered by the Bank’s Women’s Entrepreneurial Finance Initiative (We-Fi), WeRaise is being implemented by Invest2Innovate (i2i)and global partners efino and Valhalla Private Capital.
Over the next two years, WeRaise will support 30+ women-led Pakistani companies – selected through a competitive process – in raising capital from investors in Pakistan and worldwide through an investment readiness and capital raising coaching and support program. Selected startups will benefit from a tailored and be-spoke coaching and support program, which will include hands-on guidance from world class investment readiness coaches, access to a pool of local and international mentors & experts, capital raising seminars and topical resources, and connections with investors, all in service to raising funding to grow & scale their companies
Valhalla Private Capital
Valhalla Private Capital
Hop Orbits is Pakistan’s first neighborhood marketplace, revolutionizing everyday local e- commerce by connecting customers to their nearby stores.
LinkedThings, an AI-based IoT platform for manufacturing optimization, food processing, packaging, and storage.
Out-Class, an EdTech platform, is the realization of a lifelong dream of three friends, to impart high-quality education to the children of Pakistan. Established in 2020, Out-Class provides a high-quality alternative to tuition academies from the comfort of students’ homes, and with the convenience of their schedules.
Invest2Innovate has been a major player in the startup ecosystem in Pakistan since 2011, launching the country’s first startup accelerator program in 2012, which has now graduated nearly 50 companies. Their startups have gone on to raise over $7.5M in funding, 90% of which has been by their female-led companies. The company now supports startups via partnerships with players like the World Bank and Facebook , as well as other entrepreneurship support programs throughout Pakistan and the region, provides comprehensive research on the Pakistan startup ecosystem, and in 2019 launched i2i Ventures, its early stage VC fund for Pakistan & the country’s first female-founded fund.
Founder i2i , Co-founder & general partner, i2iventures
Business & Operations Lead
MEDIA & MARKETING COORDINATOR
Efino is filing in the startup finance gap led by experienced investors and entrepreneurs who have developed training and coaching methodologies to help startup raise. The efino team members have 10+ years of experience in strengthening entrepreneurial and investor ecosystems and have worked with startups globally, including in Georgia, Lebanon, Egypt & Luxembourg, helping them to connect to investors & successfully raise capital.
Valhalla Private Capital is an investor community-building program that unlocks capital for the other 99% of Small and Growing Business (SGBs) who don’t fit into a Silicon Valley Venture Capital Investment Thesis. The Valhalla Global team creates investment opportunities for new innovative ventures by one of Valhalla’s emerging market funds while creating long term relationships with local investors. Since 2003, the firm and its investors have invested over $70M into over 240 plus companies on 5 continents and 12 countries with 30% of the companies founded by women. It has pledged to invest $20 Million to women entrepreneurs through the Beyond the Billion Initiative. Entrepreneurs who have taken VPC fundraising courses have gone on to raise $500 Million in additional capital.
Chairman & CEO
Airschool lets you learn the most demanded skills in local language from the best domain experts.
CreditBook serves as a gateway to empower MSMEs in Pakistan while understanding their digital behaviours.
A solar energy services provider in Pakistan working to accelerate the adoption of solar across the country and in additional emerging markets.
Pakistan’s first ever platform which is providing support, guidance and access to services and products through the country’s largest mothering community
A social enterprise that helps finesse and bring to market a diverse range of handmade and original art products created by 92 small businesses and artisan groups from across Pakistan.
A contemporary brand with a focus on design, cut, craftsmanship, ethics and sustainability; ready-to-wear and bespoke
A platform for children, ages 4–16, to take live online multidisciplinary small group classes with educators from within around the world.
Yes. This program is free, and WeRaise takes no fee even if a startup raises funding as a result of or while they’re in the program.
Our eligibility criteria include:
The program will be virtual given the current COVID-19 scenario. However, we will revise for the future.
Clusters are more fluid and staggered to be flexible and allow entrepreneurs to enter as they are ready. It differs from a “cohort”-based model, which puts a grouping of entrepreneurs through a common program and is not as bespoke or flexible. For example, if a selected company comes into the program and raises funding within a month of WeRaise, they will exit the program, versus another company that requires more support over the course of a few months. The cluster model allows for more support and is customized for the needs of a startup.
WeRaise is a program by the World Bank’s We-Fi, and is implemented by i2i, as well as international partners efino & VPC. It is designed to be more hands-on, bespoke & focused on helping companies raise funding, exposing female-led companies to investors outside the Pakistan startup ecosystem.
Being part of WeRaise doesn’t guarantee that you will raise funding. We will connect you to investors, provide support through the process, and educate & help your business be investment-ready, but the rest is up to you.
Yes. We are here to support companies through their capital-raising process. If you feel that is no longer a fit for your future strategy, we will support you in your decision to exit the program.
While the “cluster” model is loose, we will launch a kick off event on December 9th and 10th for all selected companies, followed by a program that will take place along with coaching & support until April 2021. Companies can continue to be part of the coaching element post-April if they have still not raised funding prior to the end of Cluster 1.