Lahore-based coworking startup COLABS raises $3m in seed round – Business

COLABS, a Lahore-based startup that provides small businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancers the space and technology platform to build and grow their businesses, has raised $3 million in a seed round.

Indus Valley Capital, Zayn Capital and Fatima Gobi Ventures led the round, and three Pakistan-focused venture capitalists (VCs) jointly invested in the startup. “This is the first time,” he added.

According to the press release, Shorooq Partners, Kinnow Capital, Muir Capital, Sai Ventures and some key angels have also joined the round, including Turner Novak, William Hockey and Teddy Himler.

COLABS was founded in 2019 by former private equity and venture capitalist Omar Shah and his twin brother Ali Shah who runs SABCON, a longtime family-run real estate and development company that designs and builds COLABS’ facilities.

The leadership team also includes Fatima Mazhar in the role of Chief Operating Officer. Mazhar was one of Careem’s early executives, helping the company expand in many international markets.

According to the press release, COLABS “started as a state-of-the-art collaboration platform in Lahore, but has since evolved to provide a number of additional services and tools to entrepreneurs and freelancers, including an educational boot camp and a SaaS platform – business integration, talent sourcing. and office solutions such as administration, payroll processing, legal and tax compliance”.

“From the beginning, COLABS took a different direction from traditional coworking spaces by creating a unique offering in the market. Today, COLABS has a partner network of more than 100 organizations participating in initiatives to promote the growth of the Pakistani startup ecosystem. are doing.” the press release said.

“COLABS has positioned itself at the heart of Pakistan’s startup agenda through events, networking forums and startup promotions,” he added.

“One of the many ways COLABS creates impact is by hosting more than 250 community-related events annually, with a total of more than 200,000 major visitors to date. This facility helps community members grow, hire the right talent, and , increasing investment, and seeing them thrive. The support COLABS provides,” the press release said.

Also citing co-founder Omar Shah, “We founded COLABS to accelerate the startup ecosystem in Pakistan and are very proud of what we have achieved in just over three years.”

“While we see ourselves primarily as co-working operators, what we have built is a solid foundation that makes it easy for freelancers, startups and even international companies to enter Pakistan to launch and manage their business.

“Anyone who wants to start a company in Pakistan today can use COLABS not only as a place to work, but as a partner managing various back office functions,” said Omar.

Regarding the funds raised in the seed round, he said: In addition to bringing world-class talent to our existing rockstar team, agencies outside of our network.”

According to the press release, “Through this investment, COLABS aims to unite the 100,000 entrepreneur and freelance community in Pakistan, starting with 10,000 members within the next two years.”

“This ambition will be realized through a nationwide expansion to major cities in Pakistan such as Karachi and Islamabad,” the press release said. added.

In a press release, investor Aatif Awan, founder and managing partner of Indus Valley Capital, said:

“We are thrilled to be working with the COLABS team to help build the best platform and community to support the growth of Pakistani technology across startups, freelancers and global companies expanding into Pakistan,” he added.

Likewise, Faisal Aftab, co-founder and managing partner of Zayn Capital, said, “We have seen COLABS grow as one of the key players in Pakistan’s startup ecosystem. Luckily, we were able to meet some of the startups we invested in in their space.”

Aftab said, “Omar and his team continue to do a great job here to accelerate the growth of the startup ecosystem and we are excited to join their journey of serving tens of thousands of founders and freelancers across Pakistan. do,” he said.