Startup Bangladesh Ltd, the flagship venture capital fund of the ICT ministry, announced today that it has made its first series of investments of BDT 15 crore into seven local startups.
ShotoBorshe Shoto Asha: The announcement came on the eve of the launching of "ShotoBorshe Shoto Asha", a unique initiative under which the company plans to invest BDT 100 crore in 50 startups in 2021 as part of efforts to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh.
Background: Startup Bangladesh Limited, the flagship venture capital fund of the ICT Ministry, is the first and only venture capital fund sponsored by the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh. The company was launched in March 2020 with an allocated capital of BDT 500 crores and aims to provide investment in the form of equity investment, convertible debt, and grants in pre-seed, seed, and growth-stage startups. The company also plans to invest through co-investments, as a fund-of-funds and asset manager, and provide other in-kind support to startups and stakeholders.
Startups received investment in this cohort: The seven startups that received BDT 15 crores ($1.75 million) for the first series of the investments are:
Why this matters: This is a major event for the startup ecosystem in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh Government has been working on a number of initiatives to promote and enable the local startup scene. Startup Bangladesh Limited, the first government-backed venture capital fund is the most significant among them. Now the fund has made its first series of investments into some of the well-known local startups. The initiative will do a number of things for the startup ecosystem. It will make access to resources easier for the local startups. Encourage other local players to take on a more active role. Attract attention from international VCs and relevant players. Improve Bangladesh’s image as a startup-friendly ecosystem in the international market.
Comments: “Startups could play a crucial role in addressing the market needs, which will serve as the foundation for far-reaching consequences in the GDP’s overall growth. The tech-solutions provided by startups could support the nation’s achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” said Honorable State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, ICT Division.
Tina F. Jabeen, Managing Director & CEO, Startup Bangladesh Ltd, said, “Among all frontier markets, Bangladesh holds the most promising opportunity for venture capital and private equity investments. The country’s English-speaking, the tech-savvy young population is ready for deployment. With its focus on financial inclusion, social equity, and equal access to technology, Bangladesh is positioned to become a stellar performer in achieving sustainable development goals by leveraging disruptive technologies and innovative solutions.”