It is not easy to find an investor or funding for a startup in the early stage. But there are few companies that offer investment for the startup in their early stages. And, Accelerating Asia, a Singapore-based startup accelerator and early-stage venture capital firm, is one of such companies that support startups through funding and investments. Recently, the company has invested in 13 firms. Among the 13 companies, nine of them are new startups, and four of them already have an existing portfolio.
Three Bangladeshi startups, Shuttle, Markopolo, and MedEasy, received funds from Accelerating Asia as part of its cohort six. While Markopolo and MedEasy got the funding from Accelerating Asia, the Shuttle received follow on funding.
Founded in 2018, Accelerating Asia is a startup engagement platform that links investors, partners, and clients. They aim to facilitate high-performing partnerships with high-potential founders. Help put promising, motivated founders on the path to success on a global scale.
Acceleration Asia provides to aid startups in achieving their goals as part of the open tech ecosystem. Hence, it enables individuals across numerous sectors and industries to benefit from funding sources, resources, and opportunities.
Singapore's Monetary Authority regulates Accelerating Asia's early-stage venture capital fund. Around $250,000 is invested by Accelerating Asia into startups from 10 countries and 20 industries. Further, its award-winning flagship accelerator program keeps track of the pre-Series A startups while taking an equity stake in the invested companies.
They also engage with the governments, MNCs, and universities to operate and design startup engagement programs. Currently, they have invested in 46 companies so far, and 36 of them are lead investments. They have made one diversity investment to Web2ship.com. Accelerate Asia has one exit; they have exited from MyBrand.
Their investors include angel investors, Family Offices, HNWIs, venture capital firms, and large enterprises, including corporations and international development organizations.
So far, Accelerate Asia startups have raised around $36 million from different external investors, which include family offices, angels, and VCs.
The majority of the startups joined in Accelerating Asia have closed at least one funding round. Startups have raised investment from angels in the Accelerating Asia network, Limited Partners, and institutional investors. Most portfolio members have closed at least one funding round since joining Accelerate Asia. Startups have raised financing from angels through the Accelerating Asia network and Limited Partners.
Their Fund I portfolio companies are growing exponentially at 800% annually. Moreover, the broad vertical across the B2B, B2C, and B2G provide a diversified portfolio.
Now they have introduced $20 million Fund II with ~50% initial commitments from existing investors and limited partners.
Now let's take a look at the three Bangladeshi companies that got funding from Accelerate Asia.
Started in 2018, Shuttle is a transport startup by Reyasat Chowdhury, Jawwad Jahangir, and Shah Sufian. Shuttle aims to redesign public transport in developing countries such as Bangladesh. They are doing for buses what Uber did for taxis. It is a B2B and B2C mass-transit company that transports passengers with minimal transportation hindrances.
The Shuttle operates largely fixed routes with set pick-up locations and regular service times, making it simple for people to plan transportation. Shuttle uses data to predict demand and strategically design optimal routes to minimize inconveniences.
Shuttle initiated its work in Bangladesh by targeting the women's everyday transportation issue in overpopulated Dhaka. Since the city does not sustain a quiet mass-transport system for women, Jawwad and Reyasat had seen it fit to build something to provide a solution. The duo incorporated the idea of enhancing the town's transportation network with the purpose of advancing the women.
Previously, Shuttle raised $750,000 through Accelerate Asia in Cohort 3. Now they received a follow-on funding from Accelerate Asia. However, the funding amount is not published yet.
Founded in 2021, Markopolo is a digital marketing agency that offers data-driven and tailored digital marketing services to online businesses and content creators. They provide data-driven advertising tools for 50million+ microbusinesses and creators.
The platform allows them to launch their targeted ads in just moments, with no experience or knowledge of Google Ads, Facebook Ads, or even without hiring an expensive firm. With Markopolo, creators and business owners can get up and run ads in minutes without utilizing hours learning Google Ads or Facebook Ads.
Markopolo's marketing and advertising tool allow all types of entrepreneurs to plug in their creativity and funds and let their campaigns run using the best tactics from Google, Instagram, and Facebook. Currently, the company provides its service using more than 20 employees, and they are growing slowly.
However, Markopolo's growth is going to be increased as they have got funding from Accelerate Asia in May 2022. The amount of funding is not published yet.
MedEasy is an online pharmacy that strives to make the lives of 30 million chronic patients in Bangladesh easier and requires extensive access to pharmacies. They offer doctor's consultations via video call and deliver medicines to patients' doorstep. So far, the company has completed more than 2 million medicine orders among the 70,000+ total users and seen 16 times more revenue in 2021.
Now their growth may increase in the next few years as they have got funding from Accelerate Asia. Although the exact amount of funding is not known yet, it is expected the fund will help them grow.
Bangladesh sees an uptick in investment in startups, with accelerators and funding groups pouring money into early-stage companies. With a vibrant startup ecosystem and strong entrepreneurial spirit, the country is well on its way to becoming a regional powerhouse in feasible startups.
Since its inception, Accelerating Asia has been helping Bangladeshi startups to boost their growth. The organization's resources and knowledge are invaluable to entrepreneurs looking to scale up their businesses.