Flashback to 2008, over half of Pakistan’s population of over 160 million had savings, but only around 8 percent had formal financial institutions at their disposal. Clearly, Pakistan was fertile ground for financial inclusion initiatives, and mobile operators were fully prepared to lead the charge.
After State Bank’s branchless banking regulations, issued in 2008, many startups started emerging in the microfinance sector and soon, the technological landscape of the country shifted from traditional bank branches to alternative agent and mobile-based channels.
Among such startups is MyTM, which on top of many titles, holds the crown of being the first Islamic Fintech. MyTM assists retail businesses in acting as business correspondents, providing commerce, banking, and financial services to the unbanked and underbanked. The underlying idea behind the startup was to have a one-stop solution for purchasing tickets for air travel, bus travel, cinema and more. Not just this, but MyTM is also developing Pakistan’s first payment gateway which will be integrated with all banking systems as well as local payment systems like EasyPaisa and Jazz Cash.
It is one of Pakistan’s first platforms equally providing social networking services, e-commerce services, and a communication module, all under one umbrella.
Background of Founders
Zain Farooq: Founder and CEO
Zain is an MBBS major, who graduated from Dalian Medical University (China) back in 2011. Right after his graduation, he started off his career as General Marketing Manager at Felpa International Co. Ltd and started working on his startup, MyTM alongside.
Zain kicked off MyTM with an aim to create the first of its kind social-messaging app that offers it all, from the purchase of Airline Tickets to four-comics competition, account management and Electronic funds transfer.
Furthermore, Zain was also nominated this year to receive an Honorary Award by the President of Pakistan for becoming the First startup Founder from Pakistan to Win at GITEX 2021 since 2015.
With over 160 live mobile financial services distributions totalling some 80 million registered customers spread across 72 countries, the recent growth of the global mobile money industry has attracted both interest and investment in the world of microfinance.
Enter MyTM, with a vision to bring the corporate sector to the public, the company aims at identifying the potential of the IT and e-commerce industry of Pakistan and follows the mission of creating 50000+ jobs in Pakistan by the year 2029.
Additionally, the National Incubation Centre and Ignite – National Technology Fund of the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications, has also helped in nurturing the company and strategizing its business plans to represent Pakistan at an international level.
CEO Ignite, Asim Shahryar Husain, stated:
Pakistan is home to the fifth-largest youngest population in the World while having only one bank branch and one ATM for every 15,000 individuals. Hence, it is a great growth opportunity for a fintech startup like MyTM. That is why Ignite sponsored MyTM along with some other NIC startups to connect them with potential customers and investors at GITEX 2021. It’s great to see the results of our efforts now. Ignite will continue sponsoring NIC startups for international startup events in the future to unleash the entrepreneurial potential of Pakistan.
What is MyTM?
MyTM is the first-ever startup from Pakistan to win the Supernova pitching competition at GITEX Future stars held in Dubai in October 2021, in the ‘Creative Economy’ category and had secured $6.9 million in its seed round.
Essentially, it is a Pakistan-based mobile application network that launched its Beta version back in July 2019. What started off in 2018, as the country’s first Islamic FinTech, with an aim to provide mass transit e-ticketing, branchless banking and other microfinance services to the customers has now revolutionised into Payment pull (e-POS), Visa / Mastercard acceptance and payment gateway service.
This application offers social media integration for users to interact, staying updated with the latest local and global news via one digitally connected platform. Through the MYTM Chat feature, you may interact either in person or in groups.
The proprietary end-to-end encryption mechanism (LIME Tech), makes it a safe, easy & user-friendly chat module, that ensures the reliability of users upon security and privacy. It’s a one of its kind user-friendly application, which includes air ticket booking, tours, bus, cinema, and event ticket booking. MYTM as a company offers a variety of local, international, religious, and spiritual tours through its subsidiary company “MYTM Travels”. In addition, it also offers prepared packages as well as customized tours.
Funds Raised By MyTM
Pre-Seed Funding – Raised ¥30 million
Back in 2019, MyTM announced raisin 30 million Japanese Yen in its pre-seed round from a Tokyo stock listed company, called Rentracks Japan.
Seed Funding – Raised $6.9 million
Then in October 2021, at GITEX Futurestars held in Dubai, the startup secured $6.9 million in its seed round and had won the Supernova Pitching competition, under the ‘Creative Economy’ category.
Investors participated from Saudi Arabia, Canada, Mauritius, the UK, and Pakistan, some of which included:
- My Petroleum (My Group)
- 100 Ventures
- Loyal VC
- United Seven Hills Venture
- PEX International.
This brings the total funding raised by MyTM to date to $7.2 million. MyTM’s banking partner and settlement bank are NRSP Microfinance Bank.
The company is further working to diversify the platform by adding the features of fin-tech solutions and e-wallet services in the near future to enhance the customer experience. MYTM’s vision is to establish a culture of QR-based scanning and purchasing, covering minimal to high-scale transactions.
In near future, MYTM users will be able to make purchases using a simple QR code scanning. QR code will be available on every shop, vendor, and outlet. Furthermore, the company is also working on the concept of paperless currency where every single payment will be made via QR scanning. By 2026, MYTM aims to build a network of 100,000 MYTM DUKAAN.