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06 Major Tech Happenings In The Past 6 Months of 2018

So far, 2018 has been an eventful year for Dhaka’s startup scene - a handful of consequential events has happened in the first two quarters of 2018.

Many of these events are likely to impact rest of the year and beyond and shape the trajectory of the industry in the coming days.

Here is a guide to navigate the major consequential events in the past two quarters of 2018, ranging from Pathao’s investment, the launch of bKash app, Ant Financial’s investment in bKash, BD Venture Sees First Exit, Seek International buys more stake at, FieldBuzz receives GSMA grant, Frontier Fund invests in Zero Gravity Ventures, Ride-hailing Guideline, iPay launches, Maya Raises Investment and many more.

1. Ant Financial buys stakes in bKash - After months of rumor, Ant Financial, an Alibaba Group affiliate, and finally entered into an agreement this April. Ant will buy a 20% stake at bKash and the process is likely to complete in the next few years.

This was one of the consequential events because it will shape the fintech landscape in the country in the coming days.

Read our take here.

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2. BD Venture Sees First Exit - In January BD Venture announced its first exit, from EON Food, an investment BD Venture made at the very beginning of its journey. In terms of investment value, this was not a huge amount neither the return was huge, the significance of the event was in the fact that this was first exit by BD Venture and by a local venture capital firm which is likely to influence overall investment scenario in the country.

Read our take here.

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3. Seek International buys more stake at - Australian number one job portal SEEK International has bought 10% stake in Bangladesh’s largest online job portal for Tk 30 crore at a valuation of tk. 300 crore, which is double of what SEEK valued the company in a 2014 deal.

The deal makes SEEK International single majority shareholder in the company with 35% stake. Fahim Mashroor, co-founder, and CEO of Bdjobs, owns 33% and other 7 shareholders own the remaining shares.

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4. Pathao raises new round of investment - In April, Pathao, the market leader of Bangladesh’s two-wheeler ride-hailing industry, closed a new round of fundraising that values the company at over $100 million allowing the startup to push its growth, venture out into new areas like payment and food which will have long-term consequences for Pathao and the industry as a whole.

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5. bKash launches bKash app - In a consequential move, the MFS leader of the country launched its mobile app in April. This was an important move on the part of bKash and will have a significant impact on how fintech and payment space fan out in Dhaka.

Read our take here.

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6. Ride-sharing Service Guidelines 2017 - The Cabinet has approved a draft of “Ride-sharing Service Guidelines 2017” in January. This is a result of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA)’s persistent willingness, which was quite adamant from the beginning to regulate ride-hailing companies.

Ride-hailing has become an important industry over the past few years. Transportation being the most important node of the physical world, it is difficult to overstate the importance of proper guideline for this industry.

Read our analysis on the draft guideline here.

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7. Funding in startups - Zero Gravity Ventures, Maya, Sheba, HungryNaki, Interactive Artifacts, and a handful of other startups raised money in the first half of 2018.

You can read our funding coverage here.

Call to action: Let us know your take on the most important startups' events in Dhaka in the past 06 months.

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