Robi’s flagship digital entrepreneurship platform, r-ventures 3.0, announced that it will invest in 8 startups out of 11 companies that made it to the r-ventures 3.0 finale. The company organized a Grand Finale program at the Capital’s Sheraton Hotel on 5th March attended by senior Robi officials, Government officials, and important people from the startup ecosystem. ICT State Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak was the chief guest at the event.
Tell me more about various investment announcements:
A flurry of investment announcements has been made at the event. It is a bit fuzzy but here it is:
Robi launched r-ventures in 2017 as an internal incubator program, supporting its own employees in digital entrepreneurship. The program's first batch produced several exciting companies such as transportation tech startup Shuttle. In the following years, Robi opened up the program for everyone, partnered with several organizations, and launched r-ventures as an open incubator/accelerator program for all. This was the 4th cohort of r-ventures.
R-ventures is interesting for many different reasons. We wrote in 2017 at the time of the first internal cohort:
“Corporate incubator program is not a new thing. However, this is a noteworthy move coming from Robi, the company has experience of getting involved with BDtickets.com, more so because Telecom Operators in the country are already in a war mood in order to position and prepare themselves for the upcoming digital service gold rush.”
Although almost none of the observations we made at the time came to bear, r-ventures remains an important initiative for Dhaka’s fledgling startup ecosystem.