Mahaana Wealth has secured regulatory approvals from the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan to introduce technology-led investment management in Pakistan and recently closed its $2.1mn pre-seed round which will contribute directly to meeting the regulatory capital requirements.
The round was led by Vostok Emerging Finance (Sweden), SparkLabs Group (Korea & Hong Kong), and local strategic partner IGI Holdings (JV Partner of Nestle in Pakistan). Mahaana received its initial investment from Mattias Martinsson (Founder of Tundra Fonder) and was a graduate of Y Combinator’s W22 batch.
“In a country where more than 50% of the population is under debt and spends 30% of their monthly income on repaying debts, the company sees opportunities for every person in Pakistan to create a financial security net in the form of building their savings & retirement funds.,” said Muhammad Shamoon Tariq, the founder of Mahaana and ex-partner of Tundra Fonder (Sweden). “It’s heartening to see SECP acting proactively in bringing the required policy reforms and introducing new license categories, such as digital Asset Management & digital Investment Advisors, to get away with the regulatory bottlenecks restricting individual retirement and saving accounts, and we are glad we were part of the consultations and now geared up to turn that into reality.”
Mahaana’s mission is to leverage on latest financial technology to create a platform to onboard 50mn+ working class of Pakistan to better invest their savings & pensions based on their unique circumstances. The savings and pension model, such as in Sweden and the 401(k) in the US have been in practice for decades, Pakistan lags significantly behind in individual savings rate and has only ~250k individual investors base (0.02% population penetration) compared to 6mn in Sweden (60% penetration).
“Sweden’s savings revolution happened during the 80’s and 90’s and it has played an important role in achieving our status as a welfare state. Given its low savings rate and its young population Pakistan has a great opportunity right now that it needs to take advantage of,” said Mattias Martinsson, Founder of Tundra and initial investor in Mahaana. “Through stimulating private savings now, Pakistan can make sure that the state is not overwhelmed 30 years from now when the youth of today retire. I hope Mahaana can play a key role in making sure this opportunity is not lost. I have known and worked with Shamoon for 8 years and I cannot think of a better person to lead Mahaana on its important mission ahead“
The main deterrents in financial inclusion are lack of awareness, regulatory hurdles, and trust in the financial system. The company has worked actively with the regulator for policy reforms restricting financial inclusion and is well positioned to be a leading contributor to Pakistan’s journey to responsible wealth & asset management, to implement innovative, secure, and responsible savings plans.
“With savings and pensions, Mahaana is addressing one the most important long term financial issues that exists in Pakistan today,” said David Nangle, CEO of VEF. “We are proud to back Shamoon and his team in this scale venture and that Mahaana’s success will be a positive for both the users of its platform and Pakistan as a whole.”
The company will be leveraging the capabilities built by IGI Insurance’s financial infrastructure. “IGI is more than a key investor and is a strategic local partner of Mahaana. There are clear synergies between IGI Insurance, IGI Securities and a digital wealth management company like Mahaana, which has a team with proven track record of fund management in global markets,” said IGI Holdings CEO Tahir Masaud.