Robi’s flagship digital entrepreneurship platform, r-ventures 3.0, announced that it will invest in 8 startups out of 11 companies that made it to the r-ventures 3.0 finale. The company organized a Grand Finale program at the Capital’s Sheraton Hotel on 5th March attended by senior Robi officials, Government officials, and important people from the startup ecosystem. ICT State Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak was the chief guest at the event.
r-ventures 3.0: important details
- 11 digital start-ups took part in the Grand Finale.
- Investments were announced for 8 startups.
- 4 startups received more than 2 crore taka worth of investment from RedDot Digital Limited, a subsidiary IT company of Robi Axiata Ltd and sponsor of the r-ventures private equity fund.
- SBK Tech Ventures and Angel Investor, Kaniz Almas Khan has also pledged to invest 3 and a half crore taka in 4 start-ups besides RedDot Digital Ltd. Startup Bangladesh Limited, the Venture Capital Fund of ICT Division also pledged to invest a total of two and a half crores taka to the start-ups.
- Investors include RedDot Digital Limited, SBK Tech Ventures, Angel Investor Kaniz Almas Khan, and Startup Bangladesh Limited.
More about various investment announcements:
A flurry of investment announcements has been made at the event. It is a bit fuzzy but here it is:
- Robi, SBK Tech Ventures, and Startup Bangladesh Limited agreed to invest one crore 50 lakhs taka to Digi Dokaan Limited from ecommerce and retail
- SBK Tech Ventures, Robi and Kaniz Almas Khan 1 Crore 25 Lakh in HishabPlus from Fintech
- 2 crore from SBK Tech Ventures and Robi in Jomma
- SBK Tech Ventures and Kaniz Almas Khan have announced an investment of 1 crore taka in Uqeel from the Legal Tech sector
- Robi also announced an investment of 25 lakhs taka to Drishti from Assistive Technology
- Startup Bangladesh announced to invest of 50 lakhs taka each and 1 crore taka respectively to ANTT Robotics, YOUR-Campus, and Fabric Lagbe Ltd
- Additionally, ICT State Minister Junaid Ahmed Palak announced an investment of 10 lakh taka from the ICT Division to all the top 11 teams including Mile, Recycle Jar Ecosystem, and Relaxy Limited
What is Robi r-ventures 3.0?
Robi launched r-ventures in 2017 as an internal incubator program, supporting its own employees in digital entrepreneurship. The program’s first batch produced several exciting companies such as transportation tech startup Shuttle. In the following years, Robi opened up the program for everyone, partnered with several organizations, and launched r-ventures as an open incubator/accelerator program for all. This was the 4th cohort of r-ventures.
R-ventures is interesting for many different reasons. We wrote in 2017 at the time of the first internal cohort:
“Corporate incubator program is not a new thing. However, this is a noteworthy move coming from Robi, the company has experience of getting involved with BDtickets.com, more so because Telecom Operators in the country are already in a war mood in order to position and prepare themselves for the upcoming digital service gold rush.”
Although almost none of the observations we made at the time came to bear, r-ventures remains an important initiative for Dhaka’s fledgling startup ecosystem.