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With $3mn in funding, UAE-based edtech and work market Qureos enters Pakistan



UAE-based Qureos, which calls itself an edtech and future of labor market, seeks entry into the Pakistani market after their pre-seed fundraising. 

On Wednesday, Qureos (pronounced curious) claimed elevating $3 million in its current funding spherical which was led by Dubai-based early-stage VC COTU Ventures and New York-based early-stage VC Colle Capital “to quick monitor development and democratize ‘be taught to earn’ alternatives for expertise globally”.

The spherical was additionally joined by Globivest, Plutus21 Capital, Dubai Angel Buyers, and AlZayani Enterprise Capital. Angel traders that participated embody present and former leaders of Swvl, Boston Consulting Group, Moelis and Firm, Careem, Cisco Methods, Koinz, Message Hen, Bain and Firm, Hiperpool, ADNOC, QIA, and different unnamed people.

Based in August 2021 by Alexander Epure, Mehrad Yaghmai and Usama Nini, Queros began off to speed up careers by making mentorship extra accessible. Based on an organization assertion, it acquired validation at Dubai Future Accelerators to unravel the ability hole within the transition from campus to the office and in between jobs.

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“The issue shouldn’t be that expertise doesn’t exist. What we consider in is that there isn’t a dearth of expertise however it isn’t optimised,” says Usama Nini, co-founder of Qureos. “The three issues {that a} graduate or somebody who’s switching careers wants are advantage, a very good community and expertise,” he says. 

Qureos says that it has got down to remedy these three issues via experiential studying from mentors from Google, PayPal and Cisco sort of bigwig firms on the platform. The training relies on a case-study technique, giving the power to apprentices to implement educational schooling in actual world situations, making Qureos an edtech startup.  

Social media administration, product administration and content material advertising are a number of the abilities Qureos teaches on its platform. However, companies which have subscribed to Qureos providers recruit these apprentices based mostly on their necessities, making it a hiring market.

The imparting of experiential studying improves a candidate’s probabilities of success for a job, and reduces the burden for companies that comes with repeatedly on the lookout for candidates with the suitable abilities.

Whereas it solely connects companies with potential candidates for employment, it plans to handle payrolls and different providers for its shoppers within the close to future. 

In a query by Revenue, the startup didn’t give a definitive reply to what the success price of recruitment on the platform was. Usama mentioned that they didn’t actively monitor the success price as a result of Qureos is barely accountable for making the expertise pool accessible for firms to recruit from.

“It’s their discretion afterwards to recruit or not. It’s between the companies and apprentices there onwards,” says Usama.

Based on Qureos, it has been in a position to develop considerably due to the community results of the platform. It claims to have greater than 25,000 apprentices in additional than 130 nations and works with companies akin to Agility, Roche, Polygon and DHL. 

The startup makes cash via a subscriptions-based mannequin for apprentices and companies. Mentors on the platform are paid for his or her providers, with a minimize for Qureos for connecting them with apprentices.  

With the contemporary funding, the startup eyes growth into Pakistan the place will probably be actively onboarding companies to allow them to recruit apprentices. “Qureos plans to take a position closely within the nation to create a million studying alternatives and facilitate over 100,000 jobs inside the subsequent 3 years,” learn a press release from the corporate. 

“With 29 per cent of the inhabitants between the age of 15 to 29, Pakistan is a perfect nation to deal with in-line with the corporate’s mission to speed up 100 million careers.” 

Qureos additionally plans to develop its workforce in Pakistan the place over 50 per cent of the corporate’s present workforce resides. It plans to make use of this funding to construct product-led operations and develop its remote-first workforce with a deal with hiring expertise for his or her workplaces within the UAE, Pakistan in addition to India. 

“We consider that new studying fashions like Qureos, which mix cohort-based, synchronous schooling with group, are going to turn out to be extra mainstream and disrupt conventional gamers,” mentioned Amir Farha – Founder and Managing Associate at COTU Ventures.

Victoria Grace, founder and managing companion at Colle Capital mentioned: “We see great alternative in Qureos’ mission to bridge information gaps and upskill professionals via leveraging the extraordinary pathway with direct mentorship.” 

“Concurrently this platform offers a incredible alternative for extremely expert people to instantly monetize their information base, compounded by distinct community results, and for firms to entry top quality and motivated pool of expertise.” 

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



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



Pakistan’s on-line jobs platform 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?



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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