Startups have been around for quite a while now in Bangladesh. The success of several startups has prompted many to venture into the field and take a dig at the market. However, the success of a startup depends on the idea, effort to realize the idea, and considerable risk intake. The high risk has caused many startups to fail. Yet there are some glaring examples of startups that are defying odds to make a change in the existing market process. Let's have a look at the 7 most promising tech startups in Bangladesh.
One of the prominent startups of Bangladesh is Pathao. Founded in 2015 by Fahim Saleh, Hussain M Elius, and Shifat Adnan, the company is a major startup that changed the ride-sharing and delivery service landscape of Bangladesh. Initially, the company started its service as a parcel delivery platform through riders.
In 2016, the company started its ride-sharing service as well. The popularity of the platform grew instantly and in 2018, the valuation of the company stood at 100 million dollars. It was also the time the company reached a million registered user mark. Currently, Pathao operates in Dhaka, Gazipur, Chittagong, Sylhet, and Kathmandu.
In its initial days, the company received funding from RC Ventures, Alter Global, Provident Growth, and other firms.
Another prominent startup of Bangladesh is bKash. Back in the 2000s, mobile banking platforms were getting considerable traction. Two brothers Kamal Quadir and Iqbal Quadir wanted to introduce a similar platform in Bangladesh and to that end, they started holding talks with Sir Fazle Abed of Brac Bank. In July 2011, bKash came into existence as a joint venture between BRAC bank and Money in Motion LLC of USA.
bKash has been a key player noting that over 70 percent of the people lived in the rural area of Bangladesh and most of them were unbanked. bKash tapped into this need and initially started as a money transaction platform through mobile. With time, they have established other services like bill pays mobile top-up and payment to another e-commerce platform as well.
Today, almost 22% of the adult population of Bangladesh uses bKash with daily transactions of over 4.5 million times. bKash also gained investor from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as equity hold from Ant Financial. Due to the paradigm shift created by bKash in the banking sector, the platform was awarded the most innovative invention of Bangladesh in 2018.
One of the common gripes with developmental opportunity in Bangladesh is that the majority of the people lives in a rural area. Even though Bangladesh has made considerable strides in HDI, access to basic features like electricity is still a costly affair for many. To that end, ME SOLshare Ltd. ventured out to provide an affordable solar panel for electricity solution to the rural community of Bangladesh.
The technology introduced by ME SOLshare is revolutionary considering the peer-to-peer grid system where electricity from one home can be shared to another and excess energy can be sold as well. This not only helps people to illuminate their homes but also provides them with a scope to earn from the venture.
ME SOLshare has received backing from Sangam Ventures, Social Alpha, and Free Electrons and has been able to raise over 2.8 million in funding.
Most of the successful startups that you will see aren’t limited to traditional business models. Rather the idea is to better approach the client base with a solution that disrupts the market. For most of us, we go to a mechanic for an issue with our automobiles and bikes. But what if it's not in a state to be moved by itself?
The founder of Zantrik tapped into this necessity and created a platform where the automobile mechanic will come to you. suppose if your car or bike breaks down in the road, the company can send a technician in 30 minutes. You can also make use of their partner garages to get your cars or automobiles fixed or checked. They are currently available on both iOS and Android platforms. The company has managed to raise over 72k dollars in funding from black diamond ventures.
The boom of e-commerce platforms in Bangladesh has been remarkable in recent years. Most of these e-commerce ventures are limited to run their business through F-commerce and social media platforms with manual handling of orders. ShopUp wanted to make changes to this existing process by introducing a software solution that will enable businesses to automate the ordering and product delivery process.
The cheap availability, as well as usability of the software, made ShopUp an instant hit among that retail online merchants. Since its foundation in 2016, the company has managed to garner over 28 million dollars in funding and has been one of the leading tech startups in Bangladesh.
Silicon valley of the US is famous for all the tech and AI-related startups. It is almost like a hub for AI development. However, Gaze technology is an AI-driven tech startup right here in Bangladesh. with access to limited resources and funding, the company has been determined to make its mark in using AI and API integration to make Bangladesh safer. The company works to develop real-time tracking, facial recognition technology as well as a vehicle tracking technology.
The company has worked with Dhaka Metropolitan Police to make traffic monitoring easier by integrating AI in the recognition system. The company aims to grab the international AI-led recognition market which is estimated to be valued at over 50 billion US dollars. Gaze raised seed money of over 830 thousand dollars to develop their AI venture.
One of the most promising startups in the e-commerce sector has to be the Sheba.xyz venture. Whereas most of the e-commerce platform focuses on a specific niche of product or service, Sheba.xyz decided to incorporate everything under one roof.
The primary focus of Sheba is addressing the daily necessity of people. Whatever you might in your daily life, you will find it on the platform. From home shifting to the beauty salon to laundry service, everything will be brought to your doors. This not only made the life of people easier but also propelled the platform to one of the top e-commerce sites of Bangladesh with high client satisfaction and retention rate. The platform received an initial investment of 70 thousand dollars from Microsoft and Facebook.
The tech startup scene in Bangladesh is still in its nascent stage with more and more companies waiting to have their breakthrough moment. However, the ones that we mentioned here have already been successful in creating a model that would effectively make them useful for the people and grow at a profitable rate. These startups can work as inspiration for others to develop their strategies to better generate ideas and processes.