Tech Crunch: Bangladeshi Startup Plans to Start a Series Ventures
Shopup is a Bangladeshi startup which plans to start a series of retail ventures. They are currently in the process of raising funds for their business and are seeking fresh investors to boost their team. This article gives an insight into what their goals are and the challenges they face. It also provides a detailed look at their recent funding round and their plans for the future.
Funding round details
ShopUp, an online shopping and business-to-business commerce platform in Bangladesh, has announced that it has raised US$75 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and includes investments from Prosus Ventures, Flourish Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, and VEON Ventures. Shopup It is the largest series B investment in South Asia, according to the startup.
ShopUp is an online marketplace and logistics company for businesses in Bangladesh, offering a full-stack platform for business-to-business transactions, as well as an ecosystem of solutions, wholesale market, last-mile delivery, and working capital through partnerships with banks. With its new headquarters in Dhaka and Bangalore, the company has plans to expand across Bangladesh.
ShopUp is one of the fastest-growing startups in Bangladesh and its leadership team has shown good execution skills in the past year. Over the past year, the company has increased its revenues by 13 times and is shipping 11 times more product than in the previous year. In addition, it has been able to overcome challenges, such as the Ebola epidemic, and is beginning to recover.
With its latest funding, the startup plans to double its workforce in Bengaluru, as well as expand its presence to other parts of Bangladesh. Its existing logistics offerings in the country are already among the largest, and it has partnered with the Shopup country’s largest manufacturers, distributors, and producers. The startup is looking to bring neighborhood stores online by digitizing their inventory, offering better prices, and providing a broader catalog of products.
According to the company, 80% of the retail sector in Bangladesh is still dependent on neighborhood shops. But most mom-and-pop Shopup stores don’t have a digital presence, and they often lack access to a catalog of merchandise and a way to negotiate for faster delivery. This is why ShopUp plans to build an ecosystem of solutions to address these challenges.
ShopUp is a company founded by Ataur Rahim Chowdhury and Siffat Sarwar. They plan to take small neighborhood groceries online. As part of the effort, they are opening up a new warehouse and logistics service, called RedX, for online sellers in February 2020.
Challenges for neighborhood stores in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is a rapidly growing South Asian country that is often cited as a global model for development. Despite its achievements, the country still faces challenges. One of these is a coronavirus pandemic, known as COVID-19, which has halted normal economic activities. This has put a strain on the country’s public health infrastructure. Besides, a lack of doctors and nurses has hampered the country’s ability to provide adequate healthcare.
A major challenge is the existence of 4.5 million mom-and-pop stores, which are largely undigitized. While a large part of the retail market is driven by these smaller businesses Shopup, the lack of an electronic presence limits their ability to negotiate better prices and faster delivery. Nonetheless, many of them are becoming reliable voices for the public.
Another issue is the lack of a proper governance system. Most of the public institutions are politicized and inefficient, which makes it difficult for citizens to effectively make their voices heard. In addition, there are a number of laws that restrict civil rights, which includes the right to freedom of expression. However, the country’s government has shown some effort to improve the digital infrastructure, as well as green energy.
Finally, gender inequality remains a huge challenge. Women in Bangladesh are unable to find jobs due to barriers such as lack of education and social norms that discourage women from taking up careers. Additionally, a large percentage of the population lives below the poverty line, meaning that Bangladesh is in the midst of a significant socio-economic transformation.
Fortunately, there are a number of community groups who are helping to address these issues. For instance, the Bidyanondo Foundation has set up portable sinks for handwashing, as well as providing food to the needy for less than a dollar. It has also made PPE for doctors during the pandemic’s initial days, and has partnered with Pay It Forward Bangladesh to distribute masks, hand sanitizers, and other supplies Shopup. These initiatives are gaining traction in the country, especially in areas where state capacity is limited.
Despite these challenges, ShopUp has shown that it is making headway in Bangladesh. The company has raised over $100 million in total and has deepened its footprints throughout the country.
Plans to deploy fresh funds to expand its team
Classplus is a nifty little app that lets educators launch their own online courses, a feat aided by the company’s mobile app. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to deploy a bevy of fresh funds to further expand its team. For instance, the company has added non-academic content creators to its nascent roster. In addition, it has a number of open tech jobs in its Chicago headquarters. The company has also unveiled a number of new features, including a new online course catalog, and a suite of mobile learning tools Shopup. Those interested in learning more about Classplus may contact a representative directly. After all, it’s no secret that the company is on a mission to change the way educators and students learn. It’s no wonder, the app boasts over 10 million registered users, and the company has been featured in major publications, including Business Insider.
First business ventures in Bangladesh
When you consider first business ventures in Bangladesh, you’ll find a diverse set of opportunities for entrepreneurs. The ecosystem is growing, but there’s still work to be done. A few enablers are in place for startups, but the policy and regulatory environment need to evolve.
One of the major challenges for the ecosystem is the lack of legal legislation. In addition, the finite supply of skilled labor is also a concern. Advocacy is crucial to support the startup ecosystem.
To promote innovation and growth, Bangladesh needs a strong startup policy. This can help attract foreign investment and provide a range of benefits for ecosystem players. It can also reduce the cost of doing business, which is a critical issue.
Startups also need a supportive government. In addition to fiscal and regulatory policies, a fund of funds can also be established to encourage investment in startups.
Another enabling policy is to create public-private partnerships. This can include industry-academia collaborations. These can drive innovation at school and university levels and encourage talent development.
Startups can benefit from the government’s infrastructure and access to finance Shopup. For example, the government has a number of accelerator and incubator programs. However, long and complicated bureaucratic processes make it difficult for startups to get started.
A limited number of angel investors also poses a challenge for startups. In addition, banks tend to be reluctant to grant loans to startups. Fortunately, private accelerator programs are emerging to provide more effective and flexible access to funding for startups.
As a result, some international companies are setting up operations in Bangladesh. These companies are looking to drive down manufacturing costs and increase exports. They’re doing this by establishing technical collaborations with local counterparts.
iDEA Accelerator, part of iDEA Ecosystem, provides funding, marketing, and legal support for startup entrepreneurs. iDEA’s vision is to make Bangladesh a global hub for novel startups. iDEA works with entrepreneurs to develop their ideas in agriculture and education.
As Bangladesh becomes more digitally savvy, its future looks bright. Young entrepreneurs can lead the economy onto a path of self-sustaining growth.
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