Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Two Pakistani startups win $100,000 each at TAQADAM startup showcase in KSA

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and partner Saudi British Bank (SABB) awarded eleven startups from around the globe with a grant of $1.1 million, out of which two startups named Cubex and Autilent were from Pakistan and won $100,000 each.

KAUST and SABB, during the annual TAQADAM Startup Accelerator Showcase, previewed 58 founders and 23 startups, including 8 startups from Saudi Arabia and 15 international startups.

More than 130 startups have graduated from TAQADAM since its inception in 2016. Over the last 6 years, TAQADAM has distributed more than $10 million in non-dilutive funding to startup founders.


Cubex, one of the awarded startups from Pakistan, is an online marketplace for sea freight that connects freight forwarders with shippers in real-time. It was founded by Lahore-based Sheikh Ahsan Tariq and Wajiha Khalid Paracha.

According to Tariq from Cubex, his company had done $4,000,000 in revenue since 2020 and received 3,900 customers from 82 countries.

“We are targeting the global freight forwarding industry and currently have offices in UAE, Pakistan, USA, Oman,” Tariq told an international news agency, adding that the startup would be launching in the Saudi market next month with offices in Riyadh and Jeddah.


Autilent is a startup founded by university graduates of Karachi and uses computer vision (AI) to prevent traffic accidents by detecting high-risk situations inside and outside vehicles. The startup was selected as the People’s Choice Recipient and also received $100,000 in funding.

Asad Anwer, the co-founder of Autilent, while talking to the media told that his team came up with the idea of such a startup because with the help of such an initiative road accidents were preventable, which take 1.35 million lives annually and cause losses of $120 billion.

“We, at Autilent, are leveraging the technology of AI to prevent these human errors,” said another co-founder Manal Farooq, “to save precious human lives and valuable assets.”

Salma Khan
Salma writes on topics ranging from education to technology to business. She can be reached at Twitter and Facebook.

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