Pakistan’s first digital bank will start operations this month

A statup called “TAG Innovation Pvt.” will start offering digital financial services this month. Unfortunately Pakistan is the world’s fifth most populous nation where 70% of adults don’t have a bank account.

TAG is an Islamabad-based fintech startup. They have achieved Principal Approval of Electronic Money Institute (EMI) license by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). Currently TAG is running its services in Pilot mode before launching to public. TAG will launch their limited beta in Q3 of 2021 under the supervision of SBP.

The startup has to decided to launch with a limited number of customers initially. They will start commercial operations in two to three months after they get central bank approval. Chief Executive Officer Talal Gondal told Bloomberg. The startup aims to have millions of customers in the first few years under its electronic money institution license.

The company has raised about $5.5 million in pre-seed funding, making it one of five biggest deals in the Middle East, Africa and Pakistan region, according to data from Crunchbase. The funding round was led by Quiet Capital Management, Liberty City Ventures and Fatima Gobi Ventures. TAG also received strategic angel investments from general partners of Andreessen Horowitz, Khosla Ventures LLC, Canaan Partners and Mercury’s Immad Akhund.

The starup sees a big oppurtunity in Pakistani market as the country doesn’t have enough digital financial service providers. In fact according to Merchant Machine, Intermarket Securities, Pakistan’s 71 percent population doesn’t even have any bank accounts.

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