Khareed – an enterprise e-procurement software that facilitates B2B procurement in Pakistan – was accepted into Silicon Valley-based accelerator Founder’s Embassy summer 2019 program, making it the first and only Pakistani startup to be selected in the program’s history.
Founder’s Embassy is a highly selective San Francisco-based accelerator seeking international startups that have already gained strong traction in their home markets. The accelerator evaluated more than 400 startups from more than 50 countries to select eight companies to join its program this year.
The program is a 2-week immersive Silicon Valley experience where founders receive an intensive regimen of workshops and trainings, connect with VCs, and are mentored by established Bay Area entrepreneurs and experts from Linked In, Tech Crunch, and Asana, among others. At the end of the program, Khareed presented its enterprise solution to an audience of over a hundred venture capitalists and received high praise for its intuitively designed and automated enterprise solution for emerging markets.
“I think Khareed was selected because of our strong focus on innovation,” says CTO Hamad Malik. “We use artificial intelligence to automate the procurement process and we use design-thinking to make our interface as simple as possible.”
Founded in 2016, Khareed provides enterprise-grade solutions that are tailored for the unique challenges in emerging markets. “For too long companies in Pakistan have been paying for expensive software designed for use in Western markets,” says Farhan Shamir, Head of Business Development at Khareed. “We have developed Khareed to address the specific challenges here in Pakistan and neighboring countries.”
The company has come a long way over the past 3 years– Khareed is deployed at some of the largest companies in Pakistan, including Bestway Cement, MCB Bank, Monnoo Industries, and many others across nearly all industry sectors. CEO Haroon Sethi has even greater aspirations and the immersive experience in Silicon Valley has strengthened his resolve: “Our goal is to become the region’s number one software for e-procurement. Founder’s Embassy helped me think big and gave me the tools to make this happen,” he explains.
At Founder’s Embassy, Khareed was joined by startups from Switzerland, Australia, Canada, India, Bulgaria and Latvia. “I was fortunate to be part of a group of smart, creative people,” says Haroon. “One of the most valuable things I took away was the strong relationships I built with other international founders and how much I learned from them. The value of these long-term friendships is incalculable.”