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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Makes First Direct Investment In Pakistani Startup

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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Makes First Direct Investment In Pakistani Startup

News Desk

Umar Saif’s startup is the first Pakistani startup to secure an investment directly from the Bill & Gates Foundation to develop next generation Artificial Intelligence models for data collection.

Umar Saif is a well known name in Pakistan’s entrepreneurial circuit and was the former Chairman of Punjab IT Board. The MIT grad founded Pakistan’s largest tech incubator Plan 9, which takes zero equity and houses young entrepreneurs and startups for a period of 6 months – enabling them to stabilise and prepare for growth acceleration. 

SurveyAuto is a startup which is aiming to disrupt the $75 billion market research industry using recent advances in the field of AI. The startup has been dubbed the ‘Uber’ of field data collection.

How does it work?

SurveyAuto relies on local community members with smartphones to report data rather than relying on large and expensive dedicated teams. The startup uses machine learning on satellite imagery and open street maps to accurately identify survey targets, tracks and monitors enumerators in real-time using smartphone apps, and uses speech and image analysis to automatically analyse the quality of collected data.

The startup is already working on several global projects with the World Bank, Innovations in Poverty Action (IPA), ITA, UNESCO and other development organisations. SurveyAuto is based in Lahore, with offices in Amsterdam and Boston, MA. 

The investment by Bill & Gates Foundation marks the latest in a series of large-scale engagements for SurveyAuto.


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