Pakistani brothers launch Smartphone app with $175,000 backing from Kima Ventures

Published: July 3, 2013

PHOTO: PUBLICITY

With an increasing number of smartphone apps making their way into the market, brother duo – Muhammad Huzaifa and Muhammad Jehanzaib – recently launched Artsly, a video-based social learning platform,  backed by Kima Ventures, a platform providing funds to support and finance innovative companies, to the tune of $175,000, techinasia.com reported on Wednesday.

Aiming at a global audience, Artsly lets you discover learn and share premium art lessons in make-up, music, photography, food, painting and crafts from various instructors in English.

“An artist would upload his paid or free videos lessons on Artsly in any art related category and his lessons would be available to Artsly users,” Huzaifa, Artsly’s CEO, writes on his blog.

“With Artsly we want to build a community of artists and learners who deeply care about learning new artistic skills. And of course key to its success would be high quality video lessons,” he continued.

This is not their first initiative. Earlier, the sibling entrepreneurs had introduced iKnowl, a mobile app striving to make education accessible and entertaining. However, after 6 months of iKnowl’s release, Huzaifa realised that it’s going to fail and discarded the product, only to start working on his next venture, Artsly.

“Our initial product idea was released in early January and with little or no marketing in just four weeks we were able to secure 1,400 beta signups and 1,600 Facebook Likes. This doesn’t guarantee that Artsly would be successful but it does tell that artists and learners are interested in such a platform,” he claims in his blog.

The CEO of Artsly said that unlike their competitors Lynda, Team Treehouse, Udemy etc, who target male audiences, their product reaches out to women because “they are most active on YouTube and other content channels”.

Just five months after the launch of the product, the duo published their iPad app. The team is working on releasing their Android and iPhone apps soon.

Reader Comments (16)

  • Ammar
    Jul 3, 2013 - 3:36PM

    V nice app…:)

    Keep it up

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  • Moin Amjad
    Jul 3, 2013 - 3:55PM

    Could’ve hired better graphics designer.

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  • Jul 3, 2013 - 3:59PM

    Beautiful.

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  • Bilal
    Jul 3, 2013 - 4:25PM

    I don’t know why is it a news? 175000 dollars is peanuts in apps world. Success apps usually go for multiple million dollars eg include yahoo recent app by UK teen and zynga games apps.

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  • Adeel
    Jul 3, 2013 - 4:31PM

    Nice to see some “Angel” Venture capitalist working with Pakistanis…
    I hope Pakistan had some venture capitalist as well… !

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  • bilal
    Jul 3, 2013 - 4:52PM

    WOW

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  • Shahzad
    Jul 3, 2013 - 5:37PM

    @Bilal: This is just the first or seed fund they received. When (inshallah) the app starts doing well they will start going into the multi-million dollar rounds. We can learn a lot from their story. Does anyone know how they raised the money though?

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  • A. Khan
    Jul 3, 2013 - 6:12PM

    @Shahzad: First come up with a unique idea and develop a prototype. Then present it to angel investors. Better yet, if you can get approval for your app from Apple and get it onto App Store, develop public interest in it and get people to download, then there is a good chance that some company might be interested, provided it is unique and is “sticky” enough.

    There is no short cut I am afraid.Recommend

  • Ali Bawany
    Jul 3, 2013 - 6:18PM

    @Shahzad: You are absolutely right. I read their story in detail here http://huzaifa.co/making-of-artsly/

    @Bilal: If this is peanuts, then why don’t you raise this peanut fund? Particularly from an international angel firm, like Kima Ventures? Criticism is easy, going through what those brothers might have gone through isn’t. Their story is incredible. In a country like Pakistan, where at every other moment you hear about terrorism or terrorists, getting a positive story is just plain miracle. Above all, international investors community is getting interested in our younger entrepreneurial generation.

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  • aaaaa
    Jul 3, 2013 - 6:41PM

    @Bilal:

    i heard you sold an app for a billion dollars.

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  • Another Pakistani
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:47PM

    @Bilal I don’t know why is it a news? 175000 dollars is peanuts in apps world. Success apps usually go for multiple million dollars eg include yahoo recent app by UK teen and zynga games apps.

    Please post this when you secure USD 175,000 seed funding for your project :)

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  • Shahzad
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:56PM

    @A. Khan: you don’t need unique ideas. Facebook isn’t a unique idea, Friendster and MySpace were there before. Execution is key!

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  • Shahzad
    Jul 3, 2013 - 10:57PM

    I also found this link which shows how they got in touch with KIMA https://trango.co/the-story-behind-artsly/

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  • bandaeparwar
    Jul 3, 2013 - 11:19PM

    Nice work! You guys are a source of inspiration for other aspiring entrepreneurs. Try getting some recipes in there. Not exactly art but it’ll help you score publicity points with a very big market segment

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  • Jul 4, 2013 - 9:55AM

    i wish both of them very best of luck for future – its never easy to deal with investors especially foreign investors — way to go boys

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  • Aug 15, 2013 - 1:16PM

    Glad to know about the investment by Kima Ventures, great achievement boys.

    Hardwork pays off!

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