Telenor Pakistan’s digital accelerator programme, Telenor Velocity, is pleased to announce the firms selected for its highly anticipated seventh cohort, which will be hosted by Telenor Microfinance Bank / Easypaisa.
The startups were welcomed with a virtual orientation session led by Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan, and M. Mudassar Aqil, CEO Telenor Microfinance Bank / Easypaisa. Telenor Velocity, which was created to encourage an environment of creativity and cooperation, enabling Pakistan’s technology start-ups to pioneer new digital product and service offerings and to rise to new heights with the assistance of Telenor Pakistan’s enormous digital resources.
Launched in 2016, the accelerator has completed six cohorts, resulting in the graduation of 32 startups, four or more pilot runs, and a $40,000 pilot funding. Additionally, the program’s startups have raised $3 million in funding to date. Telenor Velocity cooperated with the newly launched Easypaisa Open API Gateway earlier this year, taking another step toward digital enablement via technology. Easypaisa’s newly launched Open API Developer Portal enables simple third-party integration by allowing partners to integrate 30+ digital payment use cases and test them in a sandbox environment.
Telenor Velocity’s 7th Cohort received more than 70 submissions from established startup businesses, with 24 startups selected for the interview stages. Seven firms were chosen for this cohort following four days of rigorous startup interviews reviewed by a team of internal Telenor Pakistan & Telenor Microfinance Bank specialists. The cohort was developed with an eye toward sectors and verticals that require amplification in today’s society. Fintech, Edtech, Agritech, Healthtech, and Inclusion are among the startups represented. Up-trade, Good-Earth, Digi Khata, Foree, Ola Doc, Sehat Kahani, and DeafTawk are the seven startups selected for this year’s cohort.
Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan, noted during his keynote presentation welcoming this year’s cohort, “This year’s Velocity Cohort is designed with the goal of co-creating digital solutions for sustainable development, with an emphasis on inclusion and bridging divides.” I am incredibly proud of the amazing job that each of these seven startups is doing and believe it is our job to help them succeed.” Additionally, he stated, “Telenor Pakistan is committed to assisting the country’s youth in achieving the shared goal of a robust, equitable digital society.”
M. Mudassar Aqil, CEO of Telenor Microfinance Bank / Easypaisa, stated during the event, “It gives us immense pleasure to partner with Telenor Velocity to empower today’s young change-makers with the tools necessary to redefine ‘inclusion’ on a national scale.” We’ve long felt that startups are the innovative backbone of progressive economies, and that they have the capacity to usher in a new era of digitization and development across multiple fields. Additionally, this cohort will have access to the recently developed Easypaisa Open API Gateway, another step toward digital enablement through technology. This gateway will enable businesses to encourage Pakistanis to dream, believe, and attain greater heights than ever”.
Telenor Velocity provides equity-free support to entrepreneurs for four months. Along with access to Telenor Pakistan’s 48 million consumers and 8 million users of the My Telenor App, the companies will benefit from SMS marketing campaigns, coaching from domain experts, and access to cutting-edge data analytics and customer insights. Additionally, they will have access to the organization’s agribusiness portfolio of 7 million farmers. Additionally, the seven firms will gain access to Telenor Pakistan’s APIs and, for the first time ever, to the recently built Easypaisa Open API Gateway.