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Pakistan’s mobility startup ezBike to begin gross sales of electrical scooters after $1m pre-seed increase

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Pakistan’s electrical mobility startup ezBike plans to begin gross sales of electrical scooters following one million greenback increase in a pre-seed spherical. 

The pre-seed spherical was raised from Pakistan’s i2i Ventures, Walled Metropolis Co, GroundUp, and main angels in america, together with a tech billionaire whose title was was not disclosed.  That is the primary increase for an electrical mobility startup in Pakistan.

Revenue has seen inner paperwork shared by the startup that verify the quantity raised within the spherical was $1 million. 

ezBike was launched in October 2020 as Pakistan’s first electrical scooter sharing service by Mohammad Hadi, a former funding banker, and Ali Moeen, a software program government. Since its inception, the startup claims it has on boarded over 100,000 clients who can ebook an ezBike parked across the metropolis of Islamabad. 

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The customers find the bikes by the ezBike app, reserve and function the electrical scooters all by themselves. 

“We have now been in a position to obtain this variety of customers with out something spent on advertising, which is a validation of our mannequin,” says Muhammad Hadi, the CEO of the startup. 

He additional says that being electrical, ezBike scooters price 30% lower than the common bike trip on non-electric providers. 

“Due to experience in assembling, working and sustaining electrical scooters at scale, we really feel we’re very nicely positioned to handle the broader market alternative of transitioning Pakistan to electrical autos inside 2 wheelers,” says Hadi. “That doesn’t essentially need to occur solely by a sharing service which is why the pre-seed we’ve got raised and the makes use of of this capital are to launch our personal model of electrical scooters which might be supplied on the market beginning this summer season.”

“Pakistan has 22 million registered bikes and a couple of million are offered every year. We estimate the electrical autos market to be a $20 billion alternative, nonetheless, regardless of very supportive regulatory and tax insurance policies in Pakistan for electrical autos, the electrical autos in Pakistan haven’t been in a position to develop at a major tempo,” says Hadi. 

He attributes the sluggish development in electrical scooters to the excessive worth of those autos. Constructing an ecosystem of electrical scooters, producing lithium ion batteries 50% of the fee at the moment out there in the marketplace. “What we’re additionally doing is we’re constructing a battery swapping community by which clients would have the ability to hire the batteries 

“What that achieves is the shopper would have the ability to buy ezBike at 80% the price of a comparable petrol motorbike after which function it for 50% the price of a comparable motorbike.” 

The funds will consequently be used to construct a complete ecosystem for electrical two-wheelers, together with an electrical scooter meeting facility, low-cost lithium-ion battery manufacturing, and a community of battery swapping stations. The corporate will start providing electrical scooters on the market this summer season, and plans to initially pilot its resolution with one among Pakistan’s main supply firms.

Misbah Naqvi co-founder and GP at i2i Ventures stated, “We’re proud to again the ezBike founders as they deal with addressing the pressing and vital situation of local weather change and air pollution in Pakistan, whereas offering shoppers reasonably priced choices to buy and function electrical scooters. Hadi and Ali have demonstrated a deep understanding of the EV alternative and the best way to tackle the wants of the Pakistani shopper and we’re enthusiastic about their future plans.”.



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Navigating the Indolj “Safety Breach”: Separating truth from fiction

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In at present’s digital period, the very thought of a safety breach could cause extreme consternation. So one can think about the priority when on September 20, there have been information studies of an information breach at Indolj, a Pakistani restaurant expertise supplier. Particularly, native media retailers reported {that a} pattern database of consumers who use Indolj had been compromised – and extra worryingly, that this database contained the shoppers’ private and fee info of consumers. What really occurred? Revenue finds out.

The incident at Indolj

Indolj is a commission-free on-line ordering system and meals ordering app that helps eating places cater to their clients’ meals orders. It additionally supplies all-in-one expertise options for eating places, together with web sites with on-line ordering, POS, digital menu boards and digital advertising and marketing.

On September 20, Revenue acquired a pattern database that was allegedly promoting knowledge of roughly 2.2 million Indolj clients. This similar database was acquired by different media retailers, equivalent to GEO Information, which reported on the subject on September 20, and ProPakistani, which reported on it two days later. The database included the names of consumers, their e-mail addresses, their telephone numbers, together with different info. 

Revenue carried out an evaluation to confirm the authenticity of the knowledge leaked. This was completed by contacting a pool of round 30 clients whose particulars have been talked about. We have been in a position to affirm the names and numbers of those clients; nevertheless, roughly solely 15 e-mail addresses matched those within the database. 

Whereas it had been initially claimed that clients’ bank card info had additionally been breached, there was no proof of this within the database. Moreover, the bodily addresses of consumers have been additionally not current within the pattern knowledge, which implies that there is no such thing as a affirmation of that individual knowledge being leaked. 

Revenue spoke to each Indolj’s CEO Saad Jandga, and Wah Manufacturers CEO Athar Chawla, who has intently labored with Indolj and used their companies for his manufacturers. Each people confirmed that particulars just like the names and telephone numbers of any buyer registered are frequent and often obtainable. Each additionally stated that anybody with a cellular quantity receives quite a few promotional and advertising and marketing calls every day, so this isn’t one thing that folks ought to panic about. 

Breaching into the methods and leaking delicate buyer knowledge is uncommon, nevertheless, “such unethical practices are sometimes carried out by rivals, when a platform is rising,” Chawla stated.

He added the report’s use of fabricated knowledge equivalent to some e-mail addresses and telephone numbers doesn’t present any proof of Indolj’s delicate knowledge being compromised.

Jangda reiterated the platform doesn’t require clients to supply delicate knowledge. He additionally stated the workforce acquired the database across the similar time as everybody else did and took speedy motion. They carried out an evaluation to confirm the info themselves, in addition to with their purchasers, which confirmed that solely a small fraction (roughly 5%) matched the info on the safe back-end database.

“This inconsistency raises severe doubts in regards to the authenticity of the reported knowledge breach,” Saad advised this newspaper.

What about clients’ bank card info?

Indolj is a service supplier that doesn’t require any buyer to avoid wasting their bank card info. Nevertheless, the eating places that use the platform’s companies and supply a web based fee choice to their clients use a fee gateway. These are supplied both by Foree, Financial institution Alfalah or HBL. Jangda stated Indolj doesn’t retailer any knowledge as funds are made by way of the gateway portal alone. This was confirmed by safety skilled Rafay Baloch, who stated Indolj will not be Fee Card Business Information Safety Normal (PCI DSS) compliant. Solely PCI compliant corporations can retailer knowledge. 

“Indolj customers enter their bank card info each time except the portal asks them to avoid wasting the knowledge. Even in that case, the knowledge will not be with Indolj,” Saad said.

“The report features a bank card column, however Indolj by no means shops fee info, making any declare of bank card knowledge leakage unattainable,” Chawla stated, additional stating that an OTP is requested from customers each time a web based fee is made on their eating places.

On this case, bank card numbers weren’t included within the database. Even when they’d been included, a person must additionally know a buyer’s pin, together with the bank card data to make a transaction. The possibility of fraud will increase when each the bank card quantity and pin can be found.

What does it imply to be PCI Compliant? 

It implies that your methods are safe, lowering the probabilities of knowledge breaches. Retailers and fee service suppliers (PSPs) dealing with card knowledge should preserve PCI compliance. It encompasses technical and operational requirements that companies should adhere to to guard cardholders’ bank card knowledge throughout processing. Being PCI compliant, a service provider must bear rigorous safety measures and audits to make sure knowledge safety.

How severe is that this safety breach? 

Our evaluation exhibits that breach will not be so severe as no delicate knowledge has been leaked. It’s because retailers who should not PCI compliant don’t retailer delicate info. 

What’s being completed? 

Indolj has stated that it has strong safety measures and is constantly updating its safety protocols to keep away from such threats sooner or later. Moreover, the service supplier is pursuing authorized motion by way of FIA Cyber Crime to carry these chargeable for this incident accountable. They’ve additionally engaged licensed safety consultants to research this additional.



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Pakistan’s on-line jobs advertiser Rozee launches freelancing platform Azadee

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Pakistan’s on-line jobs platform Rozee.com right now introduced the launch of an indigenous feelancing platform for Pakistani professionals, known as Azadee. 

Rozee constructed this platform on the again of what they are saying are a ten million expert professionals and freelancers on the Rozee platform, with 100,000 employers in Pakistan. The launch comes throughout a troublesome time for the financial system as inflation peaks, companies are both closing or laying folks off, whereas increments are in brief provide. 

“Native freelancing is sort of non existent although Pakistan is the fifth largest nation when it comes to worldwide freelancers,” says Rahman. “Since most of the freelancers are already there with us on Rozee and different professionals are additionally very expert, we’re permitting our employers to submit tasks as an illustration for an android app or for making a brand.”

In response to Rozee, its jobs knowledge exhibits a 30% decline in hiring over the past 16 months. As circumstances for companies get powerful, Azadee will allow these companies to fee tasks to expert professionals as a substitute of hiring staff full time, offering earnings stream to such skilled and serving to firms discover staff.

Monis says that brief time period employment is already taking place and it makes extra sense within the present financial circumstances, subsequently, it doesn’t cannibalize the prevailing hiring function of Rozee. “In reality, the businesses could be blissful as a result of they already rent both full time or on a contracutal employment foundation. As a substitute of hiring a full time worker for getting an android app made, they will now freelance it to a talented employee.”

“The fintech platform reshapes Pakistan’s freelance panorama by providing nearly infinite alternatives for freelancers and companies alike. As a substitute of conventional full-time hires that incur substantial prices, this platform permits employers to complement their workforce and proceed to develop on lean budgets,” Shahid Kazi, CEO of Rozee mentioned.

Apart from being a platform connecting professionals with firms for freelancing tasks, Rozee will guarantee funds are made when tasks conclude, and executing formal agreements between events.

The Azadee launch comes on the facet of the launch of Rozee’s monetary wellness platform Rizq, which Rahman dubs as a superapp for freelancers and professionals. Via the Rizq app, professionals and freelancers can save, make investments and handle cash.

A number of the options of the Rizq app would enable professionals and freelancers to spend money on mutual funds, be part of ROSCAs (extra generally often known as committees) and entry loans via Rozee’s companion monetary establishments. The Rizq app would additionally enable them to seek out facet hustles via the Azadee platform.  

“We consider Azadee generally is a shot within the arm to spice up a slowing financial system constrained by cashflows,” mentioned Monis Rahman. “We consider vital financial exercise could be generated by re-introducing our proficient professionals and employers to one another via freelancing relationships. Many of those newly minted freelancers will turn into entrepreneurs and entice worldwide tasks and far wanted overseas alternate.”



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Bykea managed to dodge a bullet, however will everybody else be as fortunate?

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Early on Tuesday final week, one of many main lights of Pakistan’s startup ecosystem grew to become the centre of an embarrassing however seemingly innocent hacking incident. At 12:01 PM within the afternoon a number of Bykea customers obtained a pop-up notification from the applying. 

Hackers had breached a 3rd occasion software and despatched two obscene and abusive messages to customers as a nationwide app notification. The incident ignited a firestorm of jokes and mockery on social media, with rival firms becoming a member of in on the enjoyable. Bykea rapidly bounced again from the assault by the top of the day, and affirmed that no private information was leaked.

However this was not a joke. It was a not so nice journey down reminiscence lane for each customers and tech firms alike. Nevertheless, the incident did present that Bykea had realized from the errors of these earlier than them, by solely having an ancillary a part of their enterprise affected. Had they saved delicate person information on their app’s area and had that been compromised, the incident would’ve been much more critical. However what about different firms? Have they realized their classes too? And can they be as fortunate when hackers strike once more? 

Let’s begin with what occurred at Bykea final Tuesday.

 

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