Telenor Velocity, Telenor Pakistan’s digital accelerator programme, is pleased to announce the businesses for its seventh cohort, which will be held in collaboration with Telenor Microfinance Bank / Easypaisa. Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO Telenor Pakistan, and M. Mudassar Aqil, CEO Telenor Microfinance Bank / Easypaisa, delivered keynote presentations to welcome the businesses onboard in a virtual orientation session. Telenor Velocity was created to encourage an environment of innovation and cooperation, allowing Pakistani tech companies to explore new ground in digital product and service offerings while also allowing them to scale up.
Since its inception in 2016, the accelerator has completed six cohorts, resulting in 32 graduated startups, four or more pilot runs, and a $40,000 pilot funding. Furthermore, the program’s businesses have raised a total of $3 million so far. Telenor Velocity has partnered with the newly created Easypaisa Open API Gateway this year, signifying yet another step toward digital enablement via technology. Easypaisa’s newly launched Open API Developer Portal provides for smooth third-party integration, allowing partners to integrate 30+ digital payment use cases while also testing the processes in a sandbox environment.
The 7th Cohort of Telenor Velocity received over 70 submissions from mature startup organisations, with 24 being selected for the interview rounds. Seven businesses were chosen for this cohort after four days of intense startup interviews judged by a panel of internal Telenor Pakistan & Telenor Microfinance Bank specialists. The cohort was created with the industries and verticals in mind that need to be amplified in today’s environment in mind. Fintech, Edtech, Agritech, Health-tech, and Inclusion are all sectors where the startups work. Uptrade, GoodEarth, Digi Khata, Foree, Ola Doc, Sehat Kahani, and DeafTawk are the seven firms chosen for this year’s cohort.
Irfan Wahab Khan, CEO of Telenor Pakistan, said in his keynote presentation welcoming this year’s cohort, “This year’s Velocity Cohort is designed with the objective of co-creating digital solutions for sustainable development, with an emphasis on encouraging inclusivity and overcoming divisions.” I am incredibly proud of the amazing job that each of these seven startups is doing, and I believe it is our job to help them succeed.” “Telenor Pakistan is committed to supporting the country’s young to reach the common objective of a robust, egalitarian digital society,” he continued.
“It brings us enormous pleasure to partner with Telenor Velocity to equip today’s young change-makers with the skills needed to redefine ‘inclusion’ on a national scale,” said M. Mudassar Aqil, CEO of Telenor Microfinance Bank / Easypaisa. We’ve long felt that startups are the creative backbone of progressive economies, and that they have the capacity to usher in a new era of digitization and development in a variety of fields. Additionally, this cohort will have access to the recently developed Easypaisa Open API Gateway, which is another step toward digital empowerment through technology. This gateway will allow companies to help Pakistanis dream, believe, and achieve their goals.
Telenor Velocity is a 4-month equity-free support programme for businesses. The companies will be helped in SMS marketing efforts, receive coaching from domain experts, and have access to state-of-the-art data analytics/customer insights in addition to having access to Telenor Pakistan’s 48 million customers and My Telenor App’s 8 million users. They will also have access to the organization’s Agri portfolio, which includes 7 million farmers. The 7 firms will also have access to Telenor Pakistan’s APIs, as well as unparalleled access to the recently built Easypaisa Open API Gateway.
This year, Telenor Velocity is collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to provide access to AWS Activate to a select group of entrepreneurs. Activate offers a variety of perks to help startups expand their businesses, including AWS credits, AWS support plan credits, and training. The Activate advantages are designed to provide startups with the proper combination of tools and expert assistance to help them flourish with AWS while maximising performance, managing risk, and controlling costs.