- Faisal AftabManaging PartnerFaisal AftabManaging Partner
With close to two decades of experience as an investor, entrepreneur and executive in industries such as media technology, venture capital, management consulting and financial services, Faisal Aftab is a veteran in his field. He has been employed by, or acted as an advisor to several public and private sector corporations as well as the Government of Pakistan. Since 2018, he has held the role of Managing Partner of Lakson Investments Venture Capital (LIVC). LIVC is backed by a top corporate conglomerate in Pakistan and is focused on local opportunities that use technology to create new business models or disrupt those already in existence.
Prior to leading LIVC, Faisal held the role of Executive Vice President at Intel Capital backed CloudStream Media Inc., a Silicon Valley-based technology company that provides streaming services catering to developed markets. Before his position at CloudStream, Faisal served as an Executive Director for MTV Networks International at their Pakistan franchise. He was also a Vice President of the New York-based financial services and wealth management firm, National Financial Partners and a Management Consultant at Deloitte, where he advised a portfolio of asset management, broker dealer and investment banking clients.
His notable technology sector investments include: Twilio (Communications Services), Mediamorph (Media Tech), Medicast (Healthcare Tech), Rigalii (FinTech), SendHUB (Communications Services), SendGrid (Customer Communications Platform), Apptimize (Enabling Technologies), MediaSpike (Gaming & Ad Tech), Isloo Fresh (Agribusiness), Ethereum (Distributed Computing Platform), OmiseGO (Blockchain FinTech), Ripple (Distributed Transaction Protocol), Cardano (Internet of Blockchain Platform), ADEX (Blockchain Ad Exchange).
Faisal is a limited partner of the Silicon Valley-based Venture Capital Fund 500 Startups.
He holds an MBA from Oxford University Said Business School. Additionally, he holds joint bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Accounting, Economics and Management Information Systems from Michigan State University USA.
- Ather Imran NawazVenture PartnerAther Imran NawazVenture Partner
Ather is an experienced business and technology executive with 18 years of experience in corporate sector, the last 6 serving as Chief Executive of 2 organizations. He specializes in business, technical and operational leadership of large technology focused organizations. Ather is currently serving as Chief Executive Officer, and Director on Board of Sybrid (Private) Limited, a Lakson Group company with a 1000 strong workforce in Islamabad, Karachi and Sharjah, UAE. Ather previously served as Managing Director for Numetrics Pakistan, and was involved in the due diligence and ultimate acquisition by McKinsey & Company in 2013. Ather has vast experience in hiring, training, mentoring, developing and transforming knowledge workers into effective teams that have delivered results in globally distributed organizations. Ather has been involved in product development, business strategy, project management and customer engagements. Ather has performed budgeting, financial planning and forecasting, operational management and development and execution of HR policies alongside his leadership roles.
He holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Computer Science from Ghulam Ishaq Khan Institute (GIKI) and Purdue University respectively. He received a Gold Model for best academic performance from GIKI in 1999 and is an honorary member of Upsilon Pi Epsilon IEEE Computer Science Honor Society since 2003. Ather has been a founding Chairman of the Board of Trustees of OPEN Islamabad, and currently serving as President of the chapter as well. He is on the Board of Trustees of other philanthropic and social development organizations. Ather has published a research paper on role of Agile practices in disaster management and business continuity, that he presented in IBM CASCON conference held in Toronto in 2009. Ather is a certified ScrumMaster (Virginia, 2006) and has managed globally distributed Scrum teams for many years. He frequently volunteers to deliver public lectures in universities and entrepreneurial organisations, mentoring aspiring engineers and for organizations promoting literacy.
Ather serves on many committees for public and government organisations, including National Scholarship Management Committee of Higher Education Commission and Innovation Steering Committee for reforming ORICs in universities of Higher Education Commission. Ather has also served as an Industry Representative for Accreditation of NUST Business School as part of HEC’s Business School Accreditation Council.
Ather is a prolific blogger who has written on management and productivity issues of knowledge workers at thinkingspirits.com.
- Babar Ali LakhaniChief Executive OfficerBabar Ali LakhaniChief Executive Officer
Mr. Babar Lakhani has over 19 years of investment and portfolio management experience in domestic and international equity and fixed income markets. Babar most recently served as the CIO of Century Insurance, a Public Limited company listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange of Pakistan. His first positions were as an Investment Associate at High Street Advisors and a Research Analyst at Credit Suisse Equity Group. Babar brings extensive investment experience, globally practiced portfolio management discipline, and a comprehensive understanding of the global asset management industry to Lakson Investments Limited. He received his BA in Finance from Bentley College, and his MBA from Brandeis University. Babar is a member of the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP), the Society of Financial Service Professionals and the Young Presidents' Organisation (YPO Pakistan and YPO Emirates). He is also a member of the Alumni Trustee Committee of Brandeis University and is the school’s representative in Pakistan.
Mr. Lakhani’s passions include philanthropy, competing in triathlons and marathons, spending time with his family, trying to stay abreast of new Technology (AI, IOT, Machine Learning, Disruptiveness), reading and film.
- Omar Parvez KhanVC AnalystOmar Parvez KhanVC Analyst
Omar is a VC Analyst in Lakson Investments Venture Capital (LIVC).
He has seven years’ experience in start-up consultancy as well as external and internal financial audits. Omar has worked with more than 20 start-ups and entrepreneurs as a Virtual CFO, helping them raise in excess of $1 million in funding.
Before joining LIVC, Omar was an auditor at PwC, one of the biggest financial audit and professional services firms in the world. During this time, he worked with clients in different industries including power, oil & gas, telecom and financial institutions. Omar was engaged for external & internal audits, special procedures and consulting assignments. As a result, Omar developed a deep understanding of the policies and processes involved in almost all areas of a business including financial reporting, accounting, procurement, fixed asset management and human resource.
He is a Certified Chartered Accountant and member of ACCA. Additionally, he holds a BSc (Hons) Degree in Applied Accounting from Oxford Brookes University, London.
Lakson Venture Capital
- Lakson Investments Venture Capital (LIVC) invests in Pakistan based opportunities. We concentrate on investments where technology can be leveraged to enable, enhance and disrupt existing business models or create new ones
- Investment focus is at the stage in the start-up lifecycle where the company is less than 36-48 months away from a successful Series A round or potential exit. We also invest in select Seed rounds through our Incubation and Accelerator ecosystem relationships as well as overseas partners in Silicon Valley and Europe where we seek to bring proven foreign technology to Pakistan
- 5-year Investment period, 5-year Distribution period with a target 3-5X cash multiple
- A team comprised of a diverse set of investors, domain experts, operators, and entrepreneurs with a successful track record of bringing big ideas to fruition
- Senior and experienced investment professionals with a track record in early and mid stage ventures. A seasoned equity research team of 6 analysts with 20+ years of experience supports the investment team
- Value creation and maximising future equity valuation is at the core of our investment philosophy
- Invest in innovative technologies that fundamentally change the dynamics of markets and the lives of their users
- Focus less about being a source of capital to our portfolio companies, and more about being their strategic partner
- Lakson has an unblemished track record in creating value through business partnerships and JVs e.g. Philip Morris, Colgate, McDonald’s
Venture Capital Opportunity in Pakistan
- Pakistan is entering a high growth phase of the investment cycle; economic expansion and high GDP growth will improve FDI, employment and investor confidence, leading to reduced risk premiums and multiples expansion
- Pakistan is globally the most exciting market for digital adoption. It is the fastest growing market for internet adoption globally with more than 1m people getting connected via mobile broadband every month
- Internet penetration has increased from 133,000 in 2000 to over 51m by the end of 2017. Another 50m users to move to 4G over the next 36-48 months
- This shift to the digital economy will lead to transformational changes in sectors such as retail, financial services, healthcare, education and logistics.
- Pakistan has a large, young and growing middle class with more than 70% of the population below the age of 30
- With 82m people in Pakistan considered Middle Class, this sub-group is is greater than the entire population of either Italy, Germany, the UK or Turkey
- A significant opportunity exists to provide growth venture capital to innovative ideas and to help businesses execute their expansion plans
|wdt_ID||Key Fund Details|
|1||Name||Lakson Venture Capital Fund I|
|2||Management Company||Lakson Investments Limited (“LI”)|
|4||Target Launch Date||May 2018|
|7||Category of Private Fund||Venture Capital|
|8||Minimum Investment||PKR 50,000,000 (50 Units at Price of PKR 1 Million / Unit)|
|9||Investment Period||5 years|
|10||Target Investors’ Profile||Institutions, Family Offices, Endowment Funds & UHNIs|
|11||Distribution Period||5 years|
- Focus: Pakistan based ventures that can leverage technology to enable, enhance and disrupt existing business models or create new ones
- Investment Stage: Invest in the market gap: First Stage Capital (Pre-Series A) for ventures that offer a strong probability of achieving the next round of funding or potential for strategic acquisition within 36-48 months
- Seasoned Team: A combined history of 85+ years of successful and active investing in local and international ventures across industry sectors with a demonstrated track record
- Local Expertise: Lakson Group’s extensive local presence and numerous relationships. Investment team’s extensive local network and investment experience
- Global Network: Lakson Group’s overseas experience, in-house corporate and deep global relationships. Investment team and Advisory Board’s extensive international network and experience
- Deal-Flow: LIVC leverages its high quality network of human capital, Incubators, Accelerators and Academia to generate the highest quality deal-flow
We look for seasoned founders with previous experience in successful businesses and ventures, who are able to take advantage of the large population and capitalize on the changing nature of the Pakistani consumer.
- Business To Consumer (B2C): a business or transactions conducted directly between a company and consumers who are the end-users of its products or services
- Business To Business (B2B): a type of transaction that exists between businesses, such as one involving a manufacturer and wholesaler, or a wholesaler and a retailer
- Software As A Service (SaaS): a software licensing and delivery model in which software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted
Our broad investment filters include an array of sectors:
- Enterprise & Small to Medium Business platforms
- Digital Payments
- Consumer/Social Apps & Services
- IT & Software Development Cloud Infrastructure
- Data Analytics
- Media Tech
- Ad Tech
- Agriculture Tech
- Energy Storage
- Micro Grids
We also have keen interest in emerging themes such as Blockchain, FinTech, Artificial Intelligence/Algorithms, and Internet of Things. Moreover, we actively seek out other technologies and investment opportunities where our investor capital can make market history.
And last, we expect the market to continue to evolve. LIVC is in the perfect position to identify emerging sectors and technologies, because our team is looking at companies that are not too early (pre-seed), and not too late (Series A round), and can identify clusters of companies that are passionate about a promising new technology, with a market demand, and an interested community and investors. The most recent example is technologies relating to the Blockchain, where as recently as two years ago, most people outside the space could not predict when (or if) it would break out.
Lakson Investment and The Group
- Lakson Investments platform is built on the philosophy of “we manage your money, as we manage our own”
- Over PKR 30 billion in discretionary assets with one of the most experienced local investment teams – 50+ professionals
- Benefit from their preferred relationships with corporates, brokers, banks and lawyers for a broad range of access
- Leverage the Lakson Group for insight into industries, businesses and access to a network of families and deals
- Utilize the group’s track record in corporate strategy and business methods to create value for portfolio companies
All investments in Mutual Funds are subject to market risks. The NAV of units may go up or down based on the market conditions. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. The investors are advised in their own interest to carefully read the Offering Document in particular the investment policies in Clause 2.2 and risk disclosures and warning statements in contained in Clause 2.11 and part 11 in the respective Offering Documents.