Computer Science graduates of the Class of 2020, Muhammad Furqan Karim Kidwai and Sarfaraz Shahid Hussain are co-founders of the successful investing platform, YPay Financial Services (Pvt. Ltd).
YPay is an app that enables people to invest digitally in mutual funds. Targeted towards creating a digital future for Pakistan, YPay facilitates the population in the smart investment of their money and helps them track their current financial statistics.
The app’s main goal is to create financial literacy among people, create a bridge between the Pakistani youth and the capital market, promote a culture of savings, and provide a means to invest in mutual funds via the application. YPay provides simple means of investing in solutions with zero paperwork, free financial advice, and investment returns.
Recently, the company was valued at USD 2 million through the US-based Accelerator Fund, ODX. Habib University’s entrepreneurial stars continue to take their ventures to new avenues despite overwhelming challenges.
Furqan, who received a four-year scholarship under the Habib University Talent, Outreach, Promotion and Support program, shared his thoughts on how the journey was like since the platform’s inception, “The experience was phenomenal, especially in terms of how we began the venture. From the end of 2020 to mid-2021, along with 100,000 individuals, we ran SECP’s (Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan) regulatory sandbox and gained good results.”
A regulatory sandbox allows time-bound testing of innovations, new technologies and business ventures under a regulator’s supervision. YPay successfully graduated from SECP’s 1st regulatory sandbox cohort to test transactions in real time. The latest pre-seed funding acquired by YPay is a momentous step taken by fintech startups to come closer to a financially secure Pakistan.
“SECP showed interest in our venture, and we’re now applying for a commercial license and hopeful of receiving that license from SECP. By the 31st of January, we’ll be launching a commercial product as well.”
Furqan acknowledged the many bumps on the road to the company’s success. Going to sandbox, however, was a huge achievement. While running its pilot in 2021, the company has partnered with more than five financial institutions and is prepared to go national soon.
“We are relieved in the sense that we have enough money to go commercially live and work full-time,” Furqan said. “We can become a source of income for many people. The future looks very promising for us, but because it’s a startup, it is a high-risk game and we are ready for it. I am grateful to Habib for nurturing my dreams to set up a company like YPay.”
Sarfraz, who is also a TOPS scholar, thanked Habib’s intellectually rigorous environment for enabling him to take on challenges such as initiating YPay. He feels elated to be counted as one of the youngest Fintech founders. “Being a part of Habib University and the exposure that a liberal arts education gave me, played a vital role in my overall entrepreneurial journey. The environment that I had at Habib helped me take on daily life challenges which helped me in both setting up a core Fintech company and getting it funded from one of the promising US accelerators.”