Startups have displayed fierce resilience in the face of the global recession and the resulting economic slowdown. In an ongoing quest for innovation and disruption, they have continued to evolve, giving rise to a new wave of trends that are informing startup success in 2023.
An emerging sector in the Pakistani startup ecosystem is logistics. Invest2Innovate reported logistics as the top funded sector in the first quarter of 2023, withcompanies like Trukkr and Trax, which raised $6.4 million and $3.7 million respectively, 43.7% of all funds raised. With companies like PostEx and Tajir actively innovating the way the sector operates in Pakistan, logistics is a rapidly developing industry.
Software programming is getting majorly revamped by low-code and increasingly, no-code startups. No-code tools allow users to build apps with minimal if not no coding, making strides in tech automation along with the likes of ChatGPT. No-code actively helps in the digitization of the startup ecosystem by empowering individuals from a non-tech background to bring their visions to life at a lower cost. This also allows developers to work more flexibly. According to a data report by Zapier, 90% of the no-code users from their sample thought their companies had been able to grow faster due to no-code usage. In Pakistan, this shift is being led by startups like Anmol Network, which raised $1 million last year to build a no-code access portal to the metaverse.
From Spotify Wrap determining what kind of musical personality you possess to 3D printed products and individualized customer support, personalisation has emerged as a benchmark for any successful business. According to research conducted by McKinsey, companies that excel at personalisation generate 40% more revenue than their competitors. Daftarkhwan hosts an array of startups that provide individualized customisation of their products such as; Ginkgo, Tintash and Kamayi.
Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG)
In 2023, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is playing a prominent role. With the climate crisis, businesses including startups are being more closely evaluated for their sustainability efforts. Diversity and inclusivity at the workplace are no longer optional but a must-have, with a strong leadership to affirm these values throughout the organization. Our supercommunity member, MG Apparel, is an environment conscious brand that prioritizes gender equality, scoring the highest on the Leed Platinum (LEED certification is a globally recognized symbol of sustainability achievement, backed by an entire industry of committed organizations) in Pakistan. Rizq, geared towards creating a hunger free Pakistan through food banking and youth mobilization is yet another example of an ambitious organization trying to give back to the people. This Ramzan, Daftarkhwan partnered up with Rizq, encouraging our supercommunity to come together and volunteer.
According to a Capital Group study cited by Bankrate, approximately 89% of global investors strongly considered ESG in their investment approaches in 2022. A 5% increase from 2021, this percentage is projected to further increase this year.
While startups continue to wade through the murky waters of the global recession, the startup ecosystem is still rich with persisting ambition and rigorous drive, pushing the accelerator of innovation throughout the year in 2023.