Six Startups Get $7.1M Investment From SBK Tech Ventures

May 15, 2024

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While startup funding has frozen over globally, Bangladesh’s ecosystem is thawing thanks to a $7.1 million hot streak from SBK Tech Ventures. The country’s lone women-led VC firm is injecting fresh capital into six local startups – Markopolo.ai, Jatri, Solshare, Fashol, Arogga, and 10 Minute School, first reported by TBS.

The AI-powered Markopolo.ai and transportation platform Jatri each raised $1.5 million. Climate tech company Solshare landed $1.1 million, while agri-tech startup Fashol, medtech firm Arogga, and edtech player 10 Minute School pulled in $1 million each.

It’s a major announcement for the Bangladesh startup ecosystem, with SBK’s investments this past quarter alone exceeding the total investment raised by local startups in Q1.

For SBK founder and managing partner Sonia Bashir Kabir, the deals underscore the firm’s conviction that Bangladeshi entrepreneurs are “undervalued and unnoticed” despite their ability to create a huge impact by solving issues at scale.

Since launching in 2019 as an angel investor, SBK has evolved into an important player in Dhaka’s startup ecosystem. The VC firm says it has 46 portfolio companies and has one exit. Nearly two-thirds of SBK’s portfolio companies have female founders or executives.

While punching below its weight in areas like software exports, Bangladesh offers untapped potential. SBK’s thesis is that persistent funding and incubation for local innovators can unleash a bumper crop of startups across verticals.

Bangladesh’s startup scene, while going through a period of slowdown like most other markets, the ecosystem has come a long way. Capital infusions from local VCs like SBK’s can help change the dynamics in the ecosystem while supporting a growing pool of untapped talents and increasing appetite to build consequential tech businesses as the country’s startup ecosystem seeks escape velocity.

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