Trading apps can provide more depth to Karachi Stock Exchange, which has seen increased IPO and trading activity in recent months. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Pakistan’s digital and fintech businesses are gaining in profile – the stock trading app KTrade has secured $4.5 million from investors. These include Hong Kong-based TTB Partners and HOF Capital from New York, as well as leading Pakistani business families.

KTrade comes from KASB Securities, one of Pakistan’s leading stock brokerage firms. It hopes to tap into a fast expanding retail stock investor base, much like what the Robinhood app has done elsewhere.

Ali Farid is the founder of KTrade, and had earlier been the CFO of UK-listed fintech company SafeCharge (acquired by Nuvei) and a Partner at Autonomous Research (acquired by Alliance Bernstein) in London. He has been a top ranked tech analyst in Europe since 2013.

Pakistan's stock market is on the rise
Karachi Stock Exchange Index (KSE100) volumes have increased by 7x over the last 18 months driven by regulatory reforms and increase in retail investor participation. Retail investors now account for over 65 per cent of overall trade compared to around 45% 24 months ago. K

Trade aims to provide users quick and easy accessibility to this investment opportunity.
Stock Ali Farid
Ali Farid, Founder of KTrade

“People in Pakistan have traditionally turned to gold or real estate when they consider investment options,” said Farid. “However, as the regulatory approach, authority and credibility of the Karachi Stock Exchange has grown, more people are getting comfortable with stock market investing.

“This is an exciting trend but accessibility to these markets remains a hurdle for millions. KTrade will enable this mobile-first population to participate in the investment opportunity.

“By connecting these people to companies we can drive capital trapped in unproductive assets into the formal economy which would eventually drive a virtuous cycle of economic growth and higher investments.”