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Future Startup Weekly: No. 16

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Sep 13, 2021

Founder Stories: Reyasat Chowdhury, Co-founder, Shuttle

A few weeks ago, we had an opportunity to speak with Reyasat Chowdhury, the always excellent Co-founder and CEO of Shuttle. 

The conversation is intellectually empowering in its entirety and we talk about the ecology of mass transportation, how mass transportation works, the B2B transportation market in Bangladesh, Shuttle’s model for affordable mass transportation, the state of Shuttle’s business, its ambition going forward, business building, and raising investment and much more. Read a lightly edited transcript of the conversation here. 

ShopUp Raises $75 Million in New Funding

ShopUp, a Dhaka-based B2B commerce startup digitizing neighborhood shops with an ecosystem of solutions from marketplace to logistics to capital, announced that it has raised $75 million in a Series B funding round. The round is led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and participated by new investor Prosus Ventures and existing investors Flourish Ventures, Sequoia Capital India, and VEON Ventures. This is the largest round raised by any Bangladeshi startup so far and also the first investment in the country by Valar and Prosus.

ShopUp raised its $22.5 million Series A in October last year. The new investment brings the startup’s all-time raise to over $100 million. Read the story here. 

5 Founders Share Their Favorite Business Books

In this collection of lessons from founders, we feature favorite books from 5 founders. Founders featured in this collection are: Dr. Nazmul Arefin Momel is the Co-founder and CEO of ToguMogu. Sarjeena Maodud is the Co-founder and CEO of Sheraspace. Mizanur Rahman is the Co-founder of Dorik. Sheikh Shourav is the co-founder and President of Apploye. Eddie Bearnot is the co-founder and CEO of Frontier Nutrition. Link. 

Startup Essential: Lessons in fundraising 

Raising investment is a skill. Having an excellent idea, even sometimes early traction does not guarantee that you will be able to raise investment. Sometimes you might end up raising investment from the wrong investors. So you must spend time learning the tricks of the trade. 

Shuttle Co-founder and CEO, Reyasat Chowdhury, puts this beautifully: “For me, the key takeaway is the importance of being connected with the right people who can teach you the process and the tricks of the trade. It could be an international accelerator program or an international venture capital firm. It is not something you can learn from talking to someone. You have to go through the process and learn by doing. You have to spend time behind it. Initially, it would be challenging, but after a while, it gets easier.” 

Shuttle has raised two rounds of investments over the last few years. The company raised a $750k seed round in June this year. 

In a recent interview with Future Startup, Shuttle Co-founder and CEO Reyasat Chowdhury generously shared his fundraising lessons and tips for other founders who want to raise investment.  Read a lightly edited version of his responses here. 

Tech Briefing: ShopUp and The Rise of B2B Commerce Plus Pathao Pay, Loginex, and Quora+

In our latest edition of Bangladesh Tech Briefing, we go deeper into the rise of B2B commerce, Pathao Pay, Genex Infosys’s logistics aggregator Loginex and Quora’s paid subscription service Quora+. Link

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