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Colabs Gets $3 Million Seed Funding; Plans to Expand Across Pakistan
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Colabs Gets $3 Million Seed Funding; Plans to Expand Across Pakistan 

Colabs, a Lahore-based coworking space startup, is preparing to launch a SaaS platform to help businesses with back-office requirements like as company registration, talent recruiting and management, payroll processing, and legal and tax compliance. It also intends to add more people, including expanding the product team for its SaaS workspace business solution, which is now out of beta.


The expanded ambitions follow the business’s receipt of $3 million in initial investment from Indus Valley Capital, Zayn Capital, and Fatima Gobi Ventures, marking the first time the three Pakistan-focused VCs have teamed forces to invest in a startup.


Colabs Gets $3 Million Seed Funding; Plans to Expand Across Pakistan

Colabs co-founder and CEO Omar Shah, who was formerly an investment banker, 


“We realized that people setting up operations in Pakistan need other services; they need help to set up companies, process payrolls and to ensure tax compliance. That is why we introduced our business solutions.”


Colabs was formed by Mr Shah and his twin brother Ali Shah as a co-working space for entrepreneurs starting enterprises and multinationals establishing headquarters in Pakistan. This was in 2019, and they were motivated by the country’s thriving startup economy and rapidly evolving technological space.


Over 100 enterprises employ over 1,200 individuals across the startup’s three campuses in Lahore. Over the next five years, it wants to open 100,000 seats around the country, including in key cities such as Islamabad and Karachi.


Mr Shah worked in the private equity industry for roughly eight years prior to creating Colabs, with his last job at Abraaj Capital, before collaborating with his brother, who runs the long-established family-run real estate and development firm SABCON, to launch the company. Colabs spaces are developed by a family-owned real estate company.


Shah also added regarding the future plans with the funding,


“Our plan is to get to 600 paying customers in the next 12 months, and from there we will roll this product out to the market. The idea for Colabs is to create spaces across the country, where we can service freelancers, startups, SMEs, and large enterprises. It is a community for anyone who wants to start up their career or a company or wants to enter the country. Colabs will support them in their journey. We want to become that gateway into Pakistan,”

The expansion strategy, he claims, is highly ambitious. However, they see a need for what they are giving because our new spaces are already sold out by the time they open. This is due to the large number of enterprises that are entering the nation. And there are a lot of businesses here raising money who would rather be within venues like ours than invest on their own campus.


According to Shah, the rising interest in Pakistan by major investors like Tiger Global means that the growth of the country’s startup ecosystem is set to continue, increasing the demand for spaces like Colabs.  


Aatif Awan, founder and managing partner of Indus Valley Capital said, 


“We’re thrilled to partner with the Colabs team to help them build the leading platform and community that will power the growth of Pakistani tech across startups, freelancers, and global companies expanding into Pakistan.”


The seed round was joined by Shorooq Partners, Kinnow Capital, Muir Capital, Sai Ventures, and some key angels, including Turner Novak, William Hockey, and Teddy Himler. Check out Colabs website to learn more about the company!

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