Future Startup Weekly 22: iFarmer, Sohopathi, Before Startup, Founder Lessons and More

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Oct 31, 2021

Partner: IDLC Finance Partner

Future Startup Weekly No. 20: SWAP, IDLC VC Fund, GP Accelerator, wagely, ToguMogu, Truck Lagbe

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iFarmer is Creating a New Model For Empowering Farmers

iFarmer was born from a simple but powerful idea: Democratizing agriculture financing and supply chain. All over Bangladesh, farmers routinely struggle to access finance, market, quality inputs, and information. As a consequence, farmers, while doing the most important work for the nation, don’t get the right price for their produce, live in poverty, limitation, and neglect. There have been initiatives to empower farmers but often long-term priorities get looked over for the narrow short-term achievements. iFarmer, to that end, has taken a different approach. Link

Making Online Education Personalized and Social With Shadman Majid, Co-founder and CEO, Sohopathi

EdTech is a hot topic these days anywhere in the world. Bangladesh is no different. Like many other digital services, online education has seen significant growth in adoption over the last two years. With the growth in users, came attention from investors. Once a slow vertical, the sector quickly became an investor darling globally. In Bangladesh, online education companies attracted some of the biggest deals in recent years. Today, the entire sector is on the verge of going mainstream and changing how people teach and learn in Bangladesh. 

Sohopathi, previously Online Sohopathi, is one of the important players in the vertical. Officially launched in 2019, Sohopathi runs an online education platform where students can take live courses from mentors for a fee and a free questions and answers platform where anyone can ask and answer questions for free. While there are several live-course platforms in Dhaka, Sohopathi says it offers unique benefits to students and enjoys unique advantages in that it blends personalization and social aspects in learning. Students can take live courses individually for a higher fee where personalization is high or in groups where fees are low and learning is less personalized. On the other end, Sohopathi plans to use the free Q&A platform as a tool for building a social aspect on its platform where students and learners share and interact with each other. 

To understand more about Sohopathi, its product, operation, and ambition going forward, and the state of ed-tech in Bangladesh, Future Startup’s Ruhul Kader spoke to Shadman Majid, the co-founder, and CEO of Sohopathi. Link.

These Sectors are Poised for Disruption in Bangladesh

Syed Javed Noor, Deputy Managing Director of IDLC Finance Limited, who leads the NBFI’s venture capital initiative IDLC Venture Capital Fund, says that ed-tech, transportation and logistics, health-tech, and travel will see phenomenal growth in Bangladesh in the coming days. He argues that the socio-economic reality of the country offers an excellent foundation for the growth of these verticals. Link

How to Build The Future: 4 Founders Share Strategies They Used to Grow Their Startup in The Early Days

In nature, things that stop growing, die. That’s true for startups as well. Startups are all about growth. As YC founder Paul Graham puts it: startup = growth. Companies that stop growing eventually die. Growth, however, is not easy. It takes hard work and focus to achieve consistent growth. 

In this collection of lessons from founders, we asked 4 founders on how they approach growth and what helped their companies to grow in the early days. The answers offer revealing insights into the intricacies of early stage growth and actionable strategies for eager startups and founders to apply. Link

Fatal Founder Distractions

The defining nature of all these distractions is that they give you a false sense of progress. You feel like you are doing something important and moving forward but in reality, you are not. This is precisely why these distractions are fatal. Link.

Before The Startup: How To Prepare Yourself for a Startup Journey

What do you need to know before embarking on a startup journey? A good question to think about if you are interested in startups and entrepreneurship. To me, there are two aspects that you can spend time learning about building companies: 1) what is common among successful companies and founders 2) and what is the hardest part of running a startup. Most other knowledge is either contextual in nature or you don’t need to learn now. Link.  


Interesting ideas: 

How to be an effective executive. Link

Meta. Link

Facebook papers. Link 

Sohoz in flux. Link 


From our archive: 4 Bangladeshi Founders Share Their Entrepreneurial Journey and Practical Lessons in Building Business from Scratch

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