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Accelerating Asia Invests in 13 Startups Including 3 Bangladeshi Startups
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Accelerating Asia Invests in 13 Startups Including 3 Bangladeshi Startups 

Accelerating Asia, an international early-stage venture capital fund, recently announced its newest round of investments, with nine new firms entering Cohort 6 of the flagship program and additional cash into four existing portfolio companies. This lineup includes Markopolo.Ai, Shuttle, and MedEasy.

The latest investments bring Accelerating Asia’s portfolio to 52 firms that have raised over $42 million. Cohort 6 maintains the portfolio’s history of drawing early investor interest, with $1.5 million in soft commitments received during the program’s first month.

 

Accelerating Asia Invests in 13 Startups Including 3 Bangladeshi Startups

 

When access to Accelerating Asia’s network is reserved, adding to the $2.5 million raised prior to joining the program. The new investments in Cohort 6 have market traction and increasing revenue, with an average GMV of $100,000 per month and recurring income of more than $25,000.

Cohort 6 businesses have a market presence in 10+ countries throughout Southeast Asia, South Asia, North America, and Europe, and span 8 verticals including proptech, marketplace, finance, logistics, services, eCommerce, and healthtech.

The nine new businesses also include 40 percent female co-founded startups – Tokban, 60+, relay.club, and Markopolo.ai, all of which feature a female Chief Operating Officer or Chief Executive Officer, and 80 percent of startups are also targeting Sustainable Development Goals.

 

Accelerating Asia General Partner Amra Naidoo said.

 

“With the 9 new portfolio startups selected from 600 applicants and 4 follow-on investments, Accelerating Asia is excited to continue to invest in highly scalable pre-Series A startups that also have a positive impact in respective operating markets. Since 2019, we’ve built up our portfolio of startups with investors coming to Accelerating Asia to gain early access to a pipeline of startups that combine profit with purpose,” 

 

She also added,

 

“Our VC accelerator model ensures high potential founders have greater access to needed capital financing, mentoring and skill sets to enhance their growth trajectory and quickly become leaders in their respective verticals while also lowering the overall risk for our investors at an early stage. With the new cohort, we add a second investment into Pakistan and India, with Godaam and 60+ joining Deaftawk and ProjectPro in the portfolio. We also broaden our geographical footprint by investing into Relay.Club and Nucredits which are serving Chinese customers and connecting to international markets,” 

 

In Q1 2022 Accelerating Asia also made follow-on  investments into Shuttle, Transtrack.ID, Numu and Giftpack, adding to the additional investments into ProjectPro and iFarmer made in 2021. These include Cocoon Capital, the Indonesian Women Empowerment Fund (an initiative of Moonshot Global & YCab Ventures) and Impact Collective

 

Accelerating Asia first invested in these six companies in 2020 and 2021, since then average monthly revenue has grown 332% and are projected to grow revenue to an average of over $16M this financial year.  Since joining the portfolio, the startups have also launched new product offerings, signed new clients and optimised operations to sustain revenue growth and develop new income streams. 

 

Accelerating Asia General Partner Craig Bristol Dixon said, 

“We’re excited to continue to invest in our portfolio companies as they grow alongside leading institutional investors. There is significant market and investor demand for the portfolio especially in digitisation of transport and logistics networks with the industry at an inflection point in emerging economies like Bangladesh and Indonesia. With their fleet telematics solution and the founding team’s extensive industry experience, TransTRACK.id is well placed to capitalise on the growth of the freight and logistics market which is expected to be worth US$383B by 2023,” 

 

He also added,

“In Bangladesh, the ecosystem is at a similar point to where Indonesia was 5-6 years ago and GDP growth is on track to be ~7% in 2022, making it one of the fastest growing economies regionally. We first started investing in Bangladesh in 2019 as one of the first international VCs, since then investor interest into our portfolio has increased. For example, Shuttle has successfully grown from starting as a safe transportation solution for women to expanding its serve to include B2B offerings for companies and more routes.” 

The Bangladeshi Startup Portfolios

Markopolo.AI is a female founded martech SaaS platform designed for the cookie-free era that simplifies campaign building and administration across Social and Search Ad platforms. 

It enables customers to create targeted advertising in minutes, select the ideal creative and AI-powered content, plan posts ahead of time to save time, and receive real-time information on how well they work. Markopolo.AI won She Loves Tech Bangladesh and increased monthly income by 30% in month one of the Accelerating Asia initiative. 

MedEasy is a prominent online pharmacy and digital health platform that strives to improve the lives of Bangladesh’s 30 million+ chronic patients. MedEasy offers medical video consultations as well as medication home delivery. 

MedEasy has serviced over 20,000 pharmaceutical orders with 75,000 customers and 100+ doctors enrolled on the site, and has had a 16X revenue growth in 2021 and a 22X revenue growth compared to Q1 2022.

Shuttle is a B2C and B2B transport-tech firm focusing on making daily commutes in developing nations more pleasant and cheap for middle-income individuals. It transports 4-10 passengers in sedans or minivans for less than one-third the cost of traditional ride-sharing services.

For female commuters, there is also a women-only alternative. Shuttle’s annual revenue is expected to quadruple by 2022, and it has B2B clients such as Standard Chartered and HSBC.

Fitscovery, Godaam Tech, Nu-Credits, relay.club, Stylemyle, Tokban, 60 Plus India are the startup portfolios that are included along with the Bangladeshi startups. Giftpack, Numu, TransTRACK.ID aside from Shuttle are also follow up invested startups by Accelerating Asia.

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Global e-commerce giant Alibaba has bought HungryNaki, a local Bangladeshi food delivery company at around Tk8 crore, to strengthen its footprint in Bangladesh. Established in 2013, HungryNaki is the first on-demand food delivery company in Bangladesh HungryNaki is serving more than 500,000 customers across Dhaka, Chattogram, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, and Narayanganj through its network of over 4,000 restaurants in these cities and towns. The company has around 500 drivers and 100 staff. General secretary of the e-Commerce Association of Bangladesh, Muhammad Abdul Wahed Tomal said, “This will be a positive move, “HungryNaki will get bigger.” Bangladesh’s food delivery market has attracted international interest before. Berlin-based Foodpanda launched in the country soon after HungryNaki. More recently, Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures led a $15 million round for rival delivery service Shohoz. Industry insiders said now the country is witnessing a boom of different types of e-commerce services and global companies are showing utmost interest to invest in the Bangladesh market. Alibaba started investing in Bangladesh by acquiring the largest online shopping company Daraz in 2018. At the same year, “Alipay”, the Chinese mobile payment giant owned by Alibaba Group, bought 20 percent stakes in Bangladesh’s largest mobile financial services provider “bKash Limited”. Alibaba, the Chinese multinational technology company that works in e-commerce, retail, internet, and technology, was founded in 1999. It is one of the top 10 most valuable corporations and is named the 31st-largest public company in the world on the Forbes Global 2020 list. In December 2020, the Chinese authorities launched an investigation into the alleged monopolistic practices of Alibaba Group. 

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