Bangladesh-based B2B startup ShopUp that helps digitize neighborhood shops has just raised the country’s largest-ever single round of financing in its USD 22.5 million Series A co-led by two Indian investors Sequoia India and Flourish Ventures, the company said Tuesday.
This round also attracted global investors including European Veon Ventures and Speedinvest as well as Singapore’s Lonsdale Capital. The startup has raised a total of USD 27.4 million till date according to Crunchbase.
This is the first time Sequoia Capital India and Flourish Ventures have invested in any Bangladeshi startup.
Headquartered in Dhaka, ShopUp is an online marketplace from where neighborhood shops—locally known as mudi dokaans—can place their orders to procure stocks for the shop. Additionally, the company also provides last-mile logistics service, digital lending for their additional monetary needs.
Much like India and Indonesia, a large part of Bangladesh’s retail sector is unorganized making for a huge opportunity for tech startups to digitize these mom-and-pop shops. According to the company, there are 4.5 million mudi dokaans that account for 98% of Bangladesh’s retail sector.
ShopUp didn’t disclose how many shops use its platform, but said the pandemic has fast-tracked its growth trajectory.
“We believed in the power of internet and technology adoption by small businesses and founded ShopUp as we wanted to be a key driver of this transformation. COVID-19 has further underscored the need for digital transformation for the country’s smaller businesses,” Afeef Zaman, co-founder and CEO of ShopUp, said in a statement.
Earlier this year, the company opened its office in Bengaluru to hire a majority of its tech talent in India. In February, Indian e-commerce platform Voonik merged with ShopUp and both the founders Sujayath Ali and Navaneetha Krishnan joined the latter as co-founders.
“Sequoia India has been a strong supporter of the company since it was part of the first Surge cohort in early 2019 and it’s been exciting to see the company become a trailblazer facilitating digital transformation in Bangladesh,” Klaus Wang, VP, Sequoia Capital (India) Singapore, said in a statement.