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FS Weekly 46: Story of two expansions, ShareTrip turns three, Chaldal raises money, Brain Station story, and more 

Entrepreneurship, Technology, and Society | 28 August 2022 | No. 46

Today’s newsletter is a bit different in that I’ve added a curated reading list on the tech/business scene in Dhaka in the recommendation section. I hope you find it useful. Let us know if you enjoy the newsletter and have any feedback for us to improve.

On to the updates. 

I. Two Indian logistics startups expand to Bangladesh but take divergent approaches

Thanks to the consistent growth of ecommerce, logistics has become one of the fastest-growing verticals in Bangladesh. The growth of ecommerce has created new opportunities in the vertical. Several local logistics players have raised capital over the past two years and have built meaningful businesses. The consistent growth apparently led to increased attention from regional logistics startups. Three multinational logistics startups: Lalamove, Delhivery, and Ecom Express have expanded their operation to Bangladesh in recent years. Read

II. Distribution is the key to growth and how strong distribution powers 10 Minute School

Founders make many mistakes. That’s a given. Some mistakes come from what you believe. From your framework of reasoning. They are because you think in a particular way. These mistakes are hard to stop because you are doing all the right things according to your reasoning. I have made several such mistakes while building Future Startup. One such mistake is not taking distribution with enough seriousness. Read

III. Idea generation: Much more than you wanted to know

How people from all sorts of professions come up with ideas has always fascinated me. We all deal with ideas. Founders need startup ideas. Once you have started a business with an idea, you are in constant need of ideas for growth, management, competition, and so on. Writers need ideas. Footballers and tennis stars need ideas. Politicians need ideas. I can go on. But I’ll not because it does not make sense when the list can potentially run infinitely :). Simply put, the world runs on ideas. Read

IV. Brain Station 23: A Bangladeshi technology outsourcing company quietly builds a global business

Brain Station 23 was founded in 2006 with an ambition to build a world-class technology outsourcing company out of Bangladesh. Today, the company has a presence in over 25 markets globally, making it one of Bangladesh's largest and most fascinating technology companies. Despite its scale and growth, Brain Station 23 is one of the most underrated and least talked about tech companies in Bangladesh. 

The reasons are understandable. Unlike many rising consumer technology companies in Dhaka, Brain Station 23 rarely tries to be flashy and trendy. The company prefers quiet execution over fanfare. 

But there is a lot more to Brain Station 23 than meets the eye. If it plays its cards right as it has been doing, it can become Bangladesh’s first global technology company. And tech enthusiasts and founders would be wise to pay attention to the emerging behemoth in Dhaka. Read

V. Chaldal raises follow-on investment from Startup Bangladesh Limited 

Chaldal, the country’s largest online grocery startup, announced today that it has raised BDT 5 crore in a Series C Plus funding round from Startup Bangladesh Limited, the Government-backed VC fund of the country. Startup Bangladesh co-led the round with Taavet+Sten. Read

VI. ShareTrip turns three, ShareTrip's evolution, and what’s next for the travel-tech startup 

In a nutshell, OTAs in Bangladesh have a long way to go to surpass offline travel agencies, but the transformation, however, has begun. ShareTrip is one of the several companies that are leading this transformation. It is one of the leading and most important companies in the vertical in Bangladesh. The company has experienced phenomenal growth, overcome significant challenges like the coronavirus pandemic unscathed, and has contributed to the overall growth of the OTA industry in the country. Read

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Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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