Startup Bangladesh Limited, the flagship venture capital company of the ICT Division, decided to invest in Dhaka-based re-commerce platform SWAP, per a press release sent to FS.
The release says, Swap works by offering customers both convenience and safety when selling a product along with ensuring an environment-friendly way to discard e-waste. The platform enables many low-income households to purchase, sell and exchange products – increasing economic participation and access-to-technology in an emerging market such as Bangladesh.
An agreement was signed recently between the organizations in Dhaka to invest 5 crore BDT in Pre-Series A round.
The agreement was signed in the presence of Khandker Anwarul Islam, Cabinet Secretary, Cabinet Division. Startup Bangladesh Chairman & Senior secretary of ICT division Mr. N M Zeaul Alam PAA, Managing Director Sami Ahmed, Head of Portfolio Investment Hasan A. Arif and Parvez Hossain, CEO and Tonmoy Shaha, COO of SWAP and other stakeholders were present on the occasion.
Since starting in 2020, SWAP says it has generated more than USD $43M in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV), with a current monthly GMV of over USD $2.5M. SWAP says it has served over 80,000 customers till date and has also helped to reduce 3650 Metric ton of carbon emission and saved more than 386 metric ton of e-waste as part of the commitment to reduce carbon footprint and contribute to an environmentally sustainable ecommerce industry in emerging markets.
Startup Bangladesh Limited is the flagship venture capital fund of ICT Division. Under the visionary guidance of Honorable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Startup Bangladesh - the first and only venture capital fund sponsored by the government of the people’s republic of Bangladesh started its journey on March 2020 with an allocated capital of BDT 500 crore. In this effort to enable the nation to innovate faster, Startup Bangladesh has decided to invest 5 crore BDT in SWAP after recognizing the potential of this re-commerce pioneer.
On the occasion Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak, State Minister for ICT Division said, “Bangladesh has become a fertile land for startups and innovation, which is transforming the startup ecosystem. The Government is a strong believer of innovation and technology, and we believe Startups are the change-makers and Impact creators in society. To support these innovative Startups, Government has established Startup Bangladesh venture Capital company. Startup Bangladesh’s role in supporting startup ecosystem through investments in technology startups is vital towards building Smart Bangladesh. I hope Swap will make remarkable impact in the industry with this investment.”
“The work that SWAP is doing in the re-commerce industry is highly commendable and the investment from Startup Bangladesh Ltd on SWAP will help it to be the leader of the industry. I hope that they will be able to make a deep impact in Smart Bangladesh implementation as a Startup. The ICT Division is working diligently in changing policies that assist the emerging and growing startups in many aspects, whether it is policy level, training, development etc.” mentioned NM Zeaul Alam PAA, Senior Secretary, ICT Division and Chairman Startup Bangladesh Ltd.
“Startup Bangladesh aims to support homegrown startups to grow and reach heights that generate higher standards for more Foreign Investment. The local startup ecosystem is greatly influenced by prospective ventures like SWAP, With the right strategy and focus, SWAP will be able to make remarkable example as successful and sustainable startup in the ecosystem”, said Sami Ahmed, Managing Director, Startup Bangladesh Limited.
“We believe that SWAP provides a solution that the Bangladesh market greatly needs. By building an ecosystem for pre-owned goods, we are providing our country’s low and middle income households access to technology at an affordable price while encouraging the circular economy mandate. By reusing and increasing the lifespan of electronics devices & light vehicles, we can also ease the pressure on import of such goods, easing the stress on our dollar reserve.” said SWAP CEO and Co-founder, Parvez Hossain.
Startup Bangladesh in its effort to build a vibrant startup ecosystem that nurtures digitalization, has been investing in most promising and impactful startups in Bangladesh and has continued that tradition by investing in SWAP. With the investment in SWAP Startup Bangladesh has invested in 16 companies with more than 50 crore BDT to date.
Update on 17 November 2022: This article has been updated with new information.