Pakistan Just Had The Worst Quarter For Startup Funding: Report

Investments in the startup sector fell to $55.6 million in Q3, which is a whopping 68% decline over last year, and 46% drop compared to the last quarter. A report from Pakistani tech blog Data Darbar has revealed that Q3 2022 has been the worst quarter for startup funding in over a year.

The amount generated and the total number of deals fell sharply during the period. There were only 18 unique deals in total, which is the lowest since Q1 2021. However, investments in September 2022 reached $331 million across 61 unique deals and it could surpass last year’s figure of $366 million.

Fintech was the most funded sector in September with almost $193 million gathered so far. E-commerce gained $21.6 million through six deals in Q3. Most of the money was gained during the seeding stage, bringing the total for September to $82 million.

Q3 2022 saw the lowest participation from financiers since Q1 2022, with only 52 unique investors. As a comparison, there were more than 81 unique investors in Q2 2022. However, Pakistan was not the only market that was hit with such poor numbers.

Samsung and Intel Are Working on “Sliding” PCs

Samsung and Intel are working on PCs with screens that look a lot like foldable phones.

Intel has shown off a prototype PC that can slide out to show a bigger display. Samsung Display’s CEO said that “foldable is gone” on PCs for now. The GIF below shows the sliding display in action, with a 13-inch tablet turned into a 17-inch screen.

The company was working on a dual-screen foldable similar to the Surface Neo before Microsoft dropped support for Windows 10X, an alternate version of Windows for foldable devices.

Massive PM House Security Breach Leaks Sensitive Audio Clips

The recordings include an exchange between PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz and some members of the federal cabinet. The Prime Minister House was hit by a cyberattack over the weekend which leaked private conversations between government officials in the form of audio clips, it has emerged.

Also uncovers a different conversation between PM Shehbaz Sharif, Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, Defense Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and others.

A hacker has leaked over 8 GB of data including 100 hours of conversations regarding political, economic, and security-related issues. He is asking for 18 BTC, which is around Rs. 81 million, in ransom money. The breach raises serious security concerns, with questions being asked about the cybersecurity of the highest office in Pakistan.

YouTube Will Now Let You Make Money With Licensed Music

YouTube content creators have had a long-standing feud with Google’s video-sharing platform over copyright claims. These claims occur when a YouTube video includes licensed music, resulting in a copyright strike from the owner of that music. Oftentimes, YouTube videos get copyright claimed even if a tiny portion includes licensed content.

YouTube has partnered with more than 50 labels, publishers, and distributors to bring “several hundred thousand” songs to Creator Music. Creators can either use licensed tracks directly or share 27.5% of the money with the artists. The new program is only in beta in the US and will roll out to more countries in 2023.

YouTube’s main motivation may have been to compete with TikTok, but it seems creators on the platform will be benefitting greatly from the growing competition.

Google Chrome’s Incognito Tab Will Need Your Fingerprint to Unlock

Google Chrome’s Incognito mode is about to get another layer of security on Android. iOS devices already had a Privacy Screen feature on several Google apps that required Touch or Face ID for authentication. Now Android devices are finally getting it too.

Chrome for Android will let you protect Incognito tabs with fingerprint authentication. If you have private tabs open and close Chrome, the app will automatically lock them behind biometric verification. This could come in handy when you need to hand your phone to someone else and want to keep your private tabs running.

It is already available on other Google apps such as Drive, Search, Fi, Chrome, and more.

NADRA Rolls Out Digital Payment System to Replace ATMs

The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has rolled out a new e-payment system that could be the answer to all your digital payment and cash needs. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) might be replaced for good thanks to a new development.

NADRA has announced plans to turn more than 17,000 of its e-Sahulat outlets into full-fledged ATMs with a full suite of digital payment features. These outlets will be able to perform fund transfers, cash-in, and cash-out, public-to-government (P2G) and P2P payments.

This will allow NADRA’s e-Sahulat outlets to double the capacity of more than 16,500 1Link ATMs across the country. As mentioned earlier, this will let people deposit and withdraw money easily.

Malik said that the digital platform will eventually become available in remote areas of Pakistan as well, allowing students to continue their education by earning to pay their fees.

Steve Jobs’ Daughter Mocks iPhone 14 With a Meme

The 24-year-old shared a meme on her social media account soon after the iPhone 14 launched. She used the infamous meme of an old man posing with the same shirt he is already wearing, mocking how the new iPhone 14 is the same as the iPhone 13.

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus are, in fact, mostly the same as iPhone 13. They have the same design, same displays, and even the same chipsets as last year. The iPhone 14 Pro costs $999 in the US, but the European price tag will set you back €1,299.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max are the latest iPhones from Apple. The Pro models have a new A16 Bionic chip and a 48MP main camera after 7 years of using 12MP shooters. Dynamic Island is simply the pill punch-hole on the screen that can show notifications and minimized apps.

Recent Floods Causes Over 120 Cuts in Fiber Network Across Pakistan

The optical fiber grid received more than 120 cuts at various locations during the catastrophic floods in the country. Around 250 bridges have been destroyed due to floods across the country, in most of which the flood water has washed away the optical fibers along with the bridges. Optical fibers received cuts at over 120 locations across Pakistan.

The flooding damaged the north-south and center system of optical fiber. Optical fiber rings connecting different parts of the country were also destroyed. Teams from PTCL, Wateen, and Linked.net worked day and night under the supervision of PTA.

The restoration of optical fiber and communication systems will speed up the ongoing rescue and rehabilitation activities in the affected areas, MoITT has said. Federal Minister Syed Amin Ul Haq has also appreciated the efforts of the telecommunication companies for restoring the communication system in extraordinary circumstances.

ADB Drops $200 Million ICT Development Project for Pakistan

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has dropped the “Pakistan: Integrated Information and Communications Technology Development Project” worth $200 million. The project was dropped in 2019 on the request of the government, however, it is still reflected on the Bank’s website.

The proposed project outputs were:

  1. An IT park set up as a benchmark model in Karachi
  2. National IT parks strategy developed
  3. Smart city strategy developed and piloted
  4. ICT skills in the higher education stream strengthened with technological readiness for a knowledge-based economy

These outputs were supposed to result in the following outcome: strengthened holistic development of the ICT sector in Pakistan. The project will be aligned with the following impact: ICT industry contribution to inclusive growth increased, as outlined in Pillar VI of Pakistan Vision 2025. The investment is also in line with the government’s mid-term IT development policy, the Digital Pakistan Policy 2017.

Pakistan’s Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector has been upgraded from basic to high-tech status. The project was part of the government’s vision for a knowledge-based economy by 2025. Pakistan has about 2,000 ICT companies and call centers and more than 300,000 IT professionals.
The ICT industry in Pakistan is constrained by the absence of a holistic system that operates in an end-to-end manner. The constraints can be attributed to (i) inadequacies in policy frameworks, (ii) poor infrastructure and facilities, and (iii) weak institutional capacity.
Pakistan’s software industry recorded $560 million in export revenue in 2015. A study by Forester suggested that export revenues of $6 billion could be achieved by 2020. Pakistan can leverage international investments in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with ICT infrastructure as one of the key areas.
Pakistan’s urban population is expected to grow from the current 40 percent to 50 percent by 2025. With an increased urban expansion, there is an additional demand created for the delivery of public services. Effective urban planning and governance will be key to ensuring effective urban infrastructure in Pakistan.
The government is committed to addressing the issues through smart city solutions, which will enhance the delivery of integrated public services. This requires a calibrated approach starting with the development of a national master plan for smart cities. Further undertaking limited smart city pilots will provide insights into IT requirements applicable to the country’s context.

Jazz Shines at GSMA Mobile 360 Asia Pacific

Pakistan’s leading digital operator has won the Digital Nation Video Creativity Award at the GSMA Mobile 360 Asia Pacific organized recently in Singapore. Videos from 11 countries were received, including Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The #SuperForChange campaign showcases how digital enablement can positively impact the lives of marginalized communities. Asif Aziz, Chief Commercial Officer, Jazz said, “We believe in developing an inclusive digital ecosystem” and thanked the GSMA for recognizing the campaign’s achievements.

Jazz has won the GSMA’s Digital Nation Video Creativity Award for their #SuperForChange campaign. The video tells the story of how 4G provided the platform to elevate people’s voices on discrimination.