Both founders of Dbank were formerly employed at Google.
Pakistan has the third-largest population of unbanked people in the world.
Fintech startup Dbank raised the largest early-stage funding round in Pakistan, which also marked Sequoia Capital’s first foray into the country’s startup ecosystem.
When Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia and Kleiner Perkins joined forces to lead Dbank’s seed round, they raised $17.6 million. Nubank, a digital banking platform, was joined by RTP Global, Rayn, and Askari Bank Ltd., a local bank.
Pakistan, the world’s fifth-largest country, had a record $350 million invested in startups in 2013. The startup economy in South Asia is in its infancy.
Uber Technologies Inc.’s Careem Inc. affiliate has suspended food deliveries and Airlift Technologies Pvt. has shut down after raising the nation’s largest-ever round of funding last year, despite the global downturn.
Both Tania Aidrus and Khurram Jamali are longtime Googlers and have worked together for over a decade. It plans to launch a digital retail bank in Pakistan, with the goal of expanding into the Islamic globe.
According to Kleiner Perkins partner Mamoon Hamid, Pakistan is a huge emerging market. According to the World Bank, the country has the third-largest unbanked population in the world, with 110 million adults who do not have access to banking services.
VP Johan Surani of Sequoia Southeast Asia noted that “Pakistan has a rapidly expanding middle class with increasingly sophisticated banking demands.” “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to develop a massive, customer-centric bank that can serve millions of people.”