Bangladeshi startups net $90m in H1

| Updated: July 27, 2022 22:43:25

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Bangladeshi startups have raised nearly $90 million in investment in the first half of the running calendar year, according to a study report.

Of the latest investment, business-to-business platform ShopUp raised $63 million followed by delivery service Paperfly's $13 million, it reveals.

The report styled 'Bangladesh Startup Ecosystem 2021-22: Coming of Age' was prepared and launched recently by LightCastle Partners, a local management consultant.

Bangladesh has drawn global attention in recent times for its remarkable socio-economic progress as reflected in the startup ecosystem.

Three factors play a vital role in the vibrant startup ecosystem-booming digitisation catalysed by Covid-19, changing population demographics with increasing consumption, and increased public-private attention to supporting the landscape.

"Bangladesh's position as a maturing startup hotspot has also grabbed international attention," reads the report.

Currently, Bangladesh boasts more than 1,200 active startups creating drastic impacts in day-to-day Bangladeshi lives through new, innovative products and services, it cites.

It attracted a total investment of $505 million in 2021 and in the first half of 2022 with a total contribution of $498 million from global investors, discloses the report.

Over the past decade, Bangladesh has received an average investment of $2.40 million, excluding bKash-Softbank deal worth $250 million, over 232 deals.

Nearly 70 per cent of all deals were made by Venture Funds and Angel Investors, with seed and pre-seed stages making up almost 75 per cent of all deals.

The local startups have also created employment for over 1.5 million.

The report also presents a set of recommendations to help the startups flourish further.

"An enabling policy will promote the growth of startups and the ecosystem attracting foreign investment, benefiting the country's growth and employment rate", it suggests.

The government needs to ensure an investment-friendly environment in Bangladesh, the report says, adding that the recommendations would be to update Foreign Exchange Regulation Act-1947, reduce entry barriers, introduce Tax benefits, and ease the repatriation of profits of foreign investors to attract foreign investments.

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