On the joyous occasion of the birth centennial of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and the Golden Jubilee of Bangladesh, Startup Bangladesh Ltd. launched “ShotoBorshe Shoto Asha” to invest BDT 100 Crore in 50 startups in the year 2021
The company announces the first series of investments to seven startups on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
Startup Bangladesh Limited is the flagship venture capital fund of the ICT Ministry. 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 in March 2020 with an allocated capital of BDT 500 crores. This effort will enable the nation to innovate faster, create new jobs, develop technical skills, and realize the vision of Digital Bangladesh. The fund will provide investment in equity, convertible debt, and grants in pre-seed, seed, and growth-stage startups. It would invest through co-investments, as a fund-of-funds and asset manager, and provide other in-kind support to startups and stakeholders.
The seven startups that received BDT 15 crores ( 1.75 million) for the first series of the investments are Pathao (ride-sharing/logistics), Dhaka Cast (health-tech), Moner Bondhu (mental health and Wellbeing), Chaldal ( e-commerce), Eduhive (education-tech), Sheba.xyz (domestic services and SME) and Intelligent Machines (software services). These startups received this fund to scale up their production, improve the quality of goods and services and develop the supply chain & marketing strategies.
Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, the Honourable State Minister of the ICT Division, was present as Chief guest. Mohibul Hasan Chowdhury MP, Honorable Deputy Minister of Education and Principle Coordinator, SDG Affairs, Prime Minister’s Office Zuena Aziz were the Special Guest. N M Zeaul Alam PAA, Senior Secretary, ICT Division and Chairman, board of directors of Startup Bangladesh Ltd., was the Guest of Honour.
The State Minister officially launched the “ShotoBorshe Shoto Asha (শত বর্ষে শত আশা)” and declared the investment of this venture capital fund.
He also shared that, through this initiative, the Government created a national entrepreneurship platform to support the startup ecosystem. He further added that Startup Bangladesh Ltd. could bridge the gap between the startups and their potentials with required capital financing. “Startups could play a crucial role in addressing the market needs, which will serve as the foundation for far-reaching consequences in the GDP’s overall growth. The tech-solutions provided by startups could support the nation’s achieving Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” said Honorable State Minister Zunaid Ahmed Palak, MP, ICT Division.
Senior Secretary, ICT Division and Chairman, board of directors of Startup Bangladesh Ltd., N M Zeaul Alam PAA, commented that the organization would develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem and connect entrepreneurs and startups to foster collaboration with all the stakeholders.
Ki-Hak Sung, Chairman, and CEO at Youngone Corp, also spoke the on occasion as a guest speaker. Sung shared that “I have been associated with Bangladesh for the past 36 years and am excited to be in this growth journey ahead”. The company is eyeing to invest USD 1 Billion over the next few years in Bangladesh.
Chris Burry, the Co CEO of US Market Access Inc., also shared his excitement and wished for Startup Bangladesh Limited all the success in the coming days. He believed that Bangladesh has already made good progress in developing the startup ecosystem and vowed to support the ecosystem through strategic coaching and networking.
Mustafa Usman Turan, the Turkish Ambassador, shared that he and his country Bangladesh see massive potential for collaboration in IT and innovation between these two countries and are keen to develop partnerships in the information technology (IT) and e-commerce sectors.
Tina F. Jabeen, Managing Director & CEO, Startup Bangladesh Ltd, said, “Among all frontier markets, Bangladesh holds the most promising opportunity for venture capital and private equity investments. The country’s English-speaking, tech-savvy young population is ready for deployment. With its focus on financial inclusion, social equity, and equal access to technology, Bangladesh is positioned to become a stellar performer in achieving sustainable development goals by leveraging disruptive technologies and innovative solutions.”