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Startup Bangladesh launches $65m fund to invest in 50 startups this year

Startup Bangladesh, the flagship VC fund of the country’s ICT Ministry, announced the launch of its US$65 million fund.

Called ShotoBorshe Shoto Asha, the fund has already invested in seven startups as of March 31 and it aims to back 50 companies by the end of the year, according to a statement.

The seven startups that it has funded are ride-sharing and logistics firm Pathao, healthtech startup Dhaka Cast, mental health firm Money Bondhu, ecommerce player Chaldal, edtech venture Eduhive, domestic services startup Sheba.xyz, and software startup Intelligent Machines.

The average ticket size will be US$120,000 for seed rounds and US$600,000 for growth-stage startups.

Startup Bangladesh said the fund’s portfolio firms aim to use the funds to scale up production, improve the quality of their offerings, and further develop their supply chain and marketing strategies.

Established in March 2020, Startup Bangladesh wants to help the country create new jobs, develop technical skills for its working population, and innovate faster.

It will provide investments in the forms of equity, convertible debt, and grants to pre-seed, seed, and growth-stage startups through co-investments, as a fund-of-funds, and as an asset manager.

“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,” said Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, the state minister of Bangladesh’s ICT Division. “The tech solutions provided by startups could support the nation [in its goal to achieve the] Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.”

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