Live commerce platform Ajke.live announced that it has raised $50,000 from Mohammad Maaz, a prolific angel investor, and won another $5800 from the NSU Startups Next incubation program, per the Financial Express.
Co-founded by Nasir Chowdhury (CEO), Anik Ashraf (CMO), Turjoy Barai (COO), and Jahir Alam Raju (CTO), Ajke.live initially started with a B2B business model but later pivoted to a B2C live commerce model after months-long research and user feedback. The company currently enables live commerce through live videos through its web platform and eventually plans to launch an app as well as allowing broadcasters/sellers to share their live sessions on Social media channels.
The rise of live commerce
Live commerce has become an important trend in digital commerce over the past years. First originated and popularized in China, live commerce is a fusion of e-commerce and live streaming. The model efficiently bridges the gap between in-store experience and online shopping. Shoppers can see the products live and order accordingly. The vertical has attracted quite a bit of attention from investors. Companies BulBul in India, SimSim, ShopShops have raised tens of millions of dollars in investment to take live commerce to the mainstream.
Live streaming shopping is nothing new in Dhaka. Facebook-based sellers popularly known as f-commerce has been using video streaming to showcase and sell products for a long time now. Facebook itself has integrated live commerce features in many markets.
We have written about live commerce before. From On Live Commerce and Convergence of Commerce and Entertainment with Rashedun Nabi:
“There is a new convergence happening in the commerce space. First came the rise of digital commerce across verticals and the conversion of offline commerce into digital. Over the past years, we have seen the convergence happening between online and offline commerce, where online-only operators are getting into offline retail and merging the two using the advantage of data and tech. In China and Southeast Asia, it is now aptly called O2O.
A new convergence is on the rise today, it is the convergence of entertainment and commerce. With the growth of internet and smartphone penetration coupled with the popularity of video content, we are seeing entertainment and shopping is increasingly becoming indistinguishable. This is where a new trend is soaring: live commerce, where you watch videos and shop.”
Several players are experimenting with live commerce in Dhaka. Ajkerdeal has been working on a live commerce feature. Ajke.live, being the first dedicated live commerce platform, has an opportunity to take a lead in the vertical. However, it appears that the platform is still in its early stage.
Digital healthcare goes mainstream
We have published an interesting report today illustrating the state of digital healthcare in Bangladesh and featuring some of the leading players in the vertical. Digital healthcare has gained meaningful growth in Dhaka over the past few years. The coronavirus pandemic has accelerated the pace.
Today, Dhaka has digital health startups in almost every vertical of healthcare. From The Digital Healthcare Landscape of Bangladesh 2021:
“Over the last decade, we have seen the rise of a new generation of healthcare providers using technology in both delivering healthcare and improving quality and access to healthcare. We have seen companies working in telemedicine, appointment management, at-home healthcare solutions, online pharmacy, preventative healthcare, healthcare data management, maternity health, mental health, and emergency response, etc.”
No doubt, healthcare is a tough nut to crack. People continue to prefer in-person healthcare over telemedicine or online doctor consultation. At the same time, services like at-home diagnostics, prescription automation, and online consultation are gaining momentum. If some of the gains from the coronavirus pandemic sustain post-pandemic, the future of healthcare is going to be different. It is quite understandable that healthcare is never going to be digital-only. It is not possible either. But a different model is likely to emerge out of this grand experiment we are going through. You can read the full report here.