SMEVai, the cloud-based “business back-office” services platform has announced that it has raised an undisclosed sum of cash and in-kind tech investment in the pre-seed stage. Renowned angels M Asif Rahman of ARCom & WPDeveloper and Nazmul Hasan Rupok of WPDeveloper participated in this round. Along with cash investments, SMEVai receives a full-fledged tech development team as part of the fundraising deal. The announcement came in the soft-launch event that took place in Dhaka’s Mohakhali DOHS yesterday.
Micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (popularly known as MSMEs) have a double-edged sword: Just like their bigger counterparts, they also need proper back-office support but unlike the biggies, MSME’s ability to pay is seriously limited. Whether it is the much-needed, essential bookkeeping service or marketing or legal support services, these MSMEs do not have a readily available and trusted place to go to that will get their job done while not ripping them off at the same time. This problem is particularly persistent in emerging economic-growth countries like Bangladesh that has close to 10 million MSME/startup establishments that are growing at a high pace. These 10 million MSMEs make up almost 99.9% of the business establishment in the country and employ more than 80% of the industrial workforce.
Seasoned startup founders Mahadi Hasan Sagor and Md Saimum Hossain faced those same set of problems when they started their first company together back in 2012. They themselves had faced (and are still facing) challenges with regards to those business back-office services. Solving these challenges for themselves led to the conception of developing a tech-powered holistic solution that would help such MSME business owners and startup founders alike. Enter SME Vai – a cloud-based platform for quality back-office services powered by advanced tech stacks.
The platform takes a “tech and touch” approach of combining the power of technology with a touch of human expertise. It has developed a powerful bookkeeping product called SME Hishab that it plans to combine with virtual CFO services whereby MSMEs can hire bookkeepers to maintain their accounts using SME Hishab. Based on the records in SME Hishab, the platform will also generate a host of business analytics and reports to help the business owners make better decisions for business growth. As part of the business back-office solutions, SME Vai also provides training, marketing, and essential legal services to MSME businesses.
SME Vai’s business skills development-focused ed-tech portfolio is rather unique. Unlike its traditional counterparts, SME Vai focuses on developing training courses for MSEM business owners in three broad buckets: pre-launch business readiness training, regular business operations how-to training, and a variety of hands-on regulatory compliance and other business processes training.