The largest seed fundraising round ever in Pakistan was raised by Pakistani FinTech firm Dbank that raised $17.6 million.

The most important venture fund in the world, Sequoia, has made its first investment in Pakistan, joining a growing group of prominent investors who have supported start-up companies in the South Asian market during the previous 12 months.

The company Dbank, which has its headquarters in Islamabad, announced on Thursday that it has secured $17.6 million in a seed round, the highest in Pakistan. Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia, the region’s $1 billion fund, and Kleiner Perkins co-led the deal. The Pakistani company added that Brazilian neobanks Nubank, Askari Bank, and Rayn all took part in the financing.

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Founded in 2021, Dbank is in the process of building a user-centric digital banking system based on ethical banking. Although currently focused on the Pakistani market, the startup has ambitions to expand to other countries in the future.

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The largest digital bank in Brazil, Nubank, joined the round together with RTP Global, Rayn, and local partner Askari Bank. Dbank has applied for a digital retail bank license in Pakistan and has set its eyes on providing financial services to those who are underbanked throughout the Pan-Islamic world.

Tania Aidrus, who worked at Google for more than ten years, and Khurram Jamali, who served as Google’s former head of partnerships for payments throughout the Net Billion Users markets, launched the company.

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Dbank Co-Founder Tania Aidrus stated in the report that the FinTech will go after Pakistan’s frequently exploitative informal lending sector in an effort to increase the accessibility of financial services in a “transparent and welcoming” manner.

According to the report, Pakistan’s booming FinTech industry is linked to government-led efforts to update the nation’s payment infrastructure in order to improve financial inclusion. Pakistan, for instance, created NADRA, a platform for digital identity, and Raast, a real-time payments system for quick digital transactions.

Co-founder Tania Airdus:

Tania formerly worked as an advisor to the Pakistani prime minister, where she established a framework for the nation’s transition to digitalization. Tania spent more than ten years at Google prior to this, where she worked to aid the transition of economies from cash to digital.

Co-founder Khurram Jamali:

Khurram, who served as Google’s Head of Partnerships for Payments in the Next Billion User (NBU) markets, has seen the amazing effects of financial inclusion brought about by the adoption of digital payments in developing nations. At Google Singapore, he oversaw the Pakistani market and helped the company grow tenfold in less than five years.

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