Several Bangladeshi startups and one incubator program that include agri-tech startup Fashol, edtech startup Cholpori, transport-tech startup Jatri, and venture studio Turtle Venture have raised investments over the last two weeks. Let’s do a recap.
Agri-tech startup Fashol announced on 13 April that it has raised $1 million in pre-seed funding as it looks to build the technology to optimize the supply chain and expand, per a press release.
What is Fashol?
Fashol is a wholesale agriculture products marketplace for retailers. The company collects agricultural products such as fruits and vegetables from different parts of the country, brings them to its distribution center, sorts them using an in-house sorting method, and then delivers them to partner retailers directly at their doorsteps. It provides free delivery and claims its prices are 5%-10% lower than the market rate.
The agricultural supply chain draws a lot of criticism for being inefficient. The middlemen dominant supply chain increases prices and eats up the profits of farmers. Founded by Hossain and Mamunur Rashid in 2020, Fashol aims to eliminate the need for middlemen in the supply chain, allowing farmers to earn more, small retailers to benefit from competitive pricing, and more streamlined sourcing.
The round includes investment from SOSV, Orbit Startups, South Asia Tech Partners, and angel investors Ambareen Reza and Zubair Siddiky.
In a press release, the company said the fresh funds will be used to automate transactions, increase efficiency, and improve its data usage to help close the supply and demand gap. The company also plans to open more Fashol Farmers Centers and micro-distribution centers this year.
Edtech startup CholPori Technologies, which provides interactive educational tools and resources to primary school students and teachers for effective learning, announced on 18 April that it has raised an undisclosed amount in pre-seed funding from SAJIDA Foundation.
With the investment, CholPori plans to expand its reach and impact, enabling primary-school children to attain grade-level competencies, and social and emotional intelligence, and become future-ready, said a press release.
Dhaka-based public transportation platform Jatri announced on 17 April that it has raised an undisclosed investment in a Series A round.
Jatri plans to use the fresh funding to expand Jatri's operations to new cities and augment existing services in Bangladesh.
Jatri was founded by Aziz Arman, Khandokar Taswar Zahin, and Zia Uddin in early 2019 to transform the public transportation system in Bangladesh. The company says it has supported the digitalization of operations of thousands of bus partners and processed over 100 million ticket sales. Recently, the Dhaka Road Transport Owners' Association announced Jatri as its exclusive e-ticketing partner, starting with 5,650 buses in the city of Dhaka.
Turtle Venture Studio has raised US$1 million in its first round of funding. The round was led by Dekko ISHO Venture Capital (DIVC), a notable investor that focuses on sustainable business models and practices, said a press release.
Founded in 2022 by Saraban Tahura Turin and Anwar Sayef Anik, the venture studio was launched in Singapore and is set to introduce its first cohort in 2023. Selected startups receive funding, mentorship, access to a global network, and strategic support. Turtle Venture Studio has partnerships with industry leaders like Microsoft for Startups, AWS, Carta, and others to provide entrepreneurs with cutting-edge infrastructure and tools for success. The studio plans to provide Cohort-1 startups with US$125,000 in funding and other forms of support, such as mentorship and access to connections from around the world.
DIVC, established in 2021, is one of the active local institutional investors in Dhaka’s startup scene. The company has since funded a number of startups including agri-tech startup Fashol, fintech startup AamarPay, martech startup Markopolo, and sustainable packaging startup EcoVia. The investment into Turtle Venture will strategically position DIVC to access new pipelines for startups.
In a press release, Turtle Venture Studio said the new funding will help its portfolio startups to receive a major boost. The studio also plans to use the funding to support the growth and development of the studio's startups and facilitates the expansion of its team and infrastructure and the exploration of new opportunities both locally and globally.
The studio plans to build a mentorship network, provide marketing support to selected startups, launch an exclusive graduate program in Singapore, partner with industry leaders to provide entrepreneurs with cutting-edge infrastructure and tools for success and provide funding to its upcoming Cohort-1 startups.