Top 10 Unicorns In Bangladesh

Top 10 Unicorns In Bangladesh

Unicorns: In 2021, private startup companies, which achieved unicorn status, were expected to reach a record number, amid a surge in venture capital investment.

  • Despite China’s crackdown on tech companies, Indian startups have received more funding, despite US companies dominating the unicorn list. 
  • Companies based on financial and internet technology 
  • According to a report by Bloomberg, there are 38 unicorns with a value of at least $10 billion as of 20 August 2021.

As of 2021, there have been an increased number of unicorn companies or privately owned startups valued at $1 billion. Approximately 801 unicorn companies exist globally, with a value of $2.6 trillion, according to CB Insights as of August 2021. There are 215 unicorns in 41 countries. Between 1 January and 20 August 2021, 316 unicorn companies reached unicorn status. 

The number of new unicorns is rising thanks to a boom in venture capital investments. During the first half of 2021, startups raised $292.4 billion globally, a 140% increase from the prior year. As a result, in the first half of 2021, there were 249 new unicorns created, compared to only 128 in 2020.

As of 20 August 2021, the US had 402 unicorns, followed by China (158), India (40), and the UK (31). In addition, 184 new unicorns have already been born in the US in the first eight months of 2021, making up 58.2% of all unicorns born worldwide. Despite accounting for 19.7% of all current unicorns globally, China only accounted for 8.5% of the 316 new unicorns. After China cracked down on tech firms, international investors shifted their attention to other markets.

With record venture capital inflows to startups in India, the crackdown on tech companies in China has most benefited the country. In India, 15 unicorn companies were launched this year, including Digit Insurance, Eruditus Executive Education, ShareChat, and Infra.Market. Online education provider Byju’s was valued at $16.5 billion in June 2021, surpassing the parent company of Paytm, One97 Communications, and becoming India’s most valuable startup. On 20 August 2021, Byju’s ranking was 14th among unicorns.

Among the top unicorn producers are the fintech and internet industries 

Most unicorns have been produced by fintech and internet software. A majority of the 801 unicorns worldwide are in the fintech sector. At the same time, 16.5% are engaged in internet software and services, 10.7% are in e-commerce and direct-to-consumer, and 8.4% are in artificial intelligence. In the first eight months of 2021, fintech accounted for 27.5% of all new unicorns. Internet software and services (21.5%) was second, followed by healthcare (8.5%).

According to CB Insights, 38 startups were valued at at least $10 billion by 20 August 2021. Bytedance, the owner of short video apps TikTok and Douyin, has a $140 billion valuation after securing an investment from Tiger Global in March 2020. Stripe and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are the second-and third-most valuable unicorns. 

After securing investment in March 2020, Bytedance hit a $140 billion valuation following a financing round led by Tiger Global. In 2020, the company had 1.9 billion monthly active users across all platforms and had revenue of $34.3 billion, an increase of 111% from the previous year. With a funding round of $600 million in March 2021, Stripe’s valuation almost tripled to $95 billion in less than a year. 

The highest-valued unicorn firms include Klarna, a Swedish payments company. Instacart, a US food delivery platform. Revolut, a UK challenger bank, and Nubank, a Brazilian challenger bank. Klarna is Europe’s most valuable unicorn startup. After raising $639 million in June 2021, it was valued at $45.6 billion. After raising $800 million in a new fundraising round headed by SoftBank and Tiger Global in July 2021, they raised Revolut’s valuation to $33 billion.

Exiting unicorns typically take the form of going public or being acquired. These unicorns include Didi, a Chinese ride-sharing firm, Coinbase, and Tokopedia, an Indonesian e-commerce company. Bytedance, Nubank, and One97 Communications are among some unicorns that have decided to go public. As the regulatory environment changes, this plan may change early next year. In early 2015, BitDance will list on Hong Kong’s stock exchange. Due to an active venture capital market and a growing startup ecosystem, more unicorns are expected to exit than to be created.

For India’s startup ecosystem, this was the year of the unicorn. What had been a trickle for the better part of a decade has turned into a stampede, with 39 firms reaching billion-dollar valuations this year.

Many newly minted unicorns have gone on to raise additional rounds, and some are already planning a public offering. Mensa Brands, India’s youngest startup unicorn, was founded in just six months. For the first time in nearly a decade, Gupshup was able to raise finances.

After the United States and China, India has the third-highest number of unicorns, surpassing the United Kingdom.

  1. ShopUp

An ecosystem of products from marketplaces to logistics to capital has been created by Dhaka-based digital commerce startup ShopUp, which has closed a $34-million Series B extension round led by Tiger Global Management. In total, ShopUp has invested $109 million in series B. Four months ago, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Prosus Ventures led a $75 million Series B financing round. 

Tiger Global led the extension round with a $10 million check, as reported by DealStreetAsia, citing filings with Singapore’s Accounting and ShopUp’s Chief Financial Officer Vashistha Maheshwari, and Corporate Regulatory Authority. Valar Ventures, Flourish Ventures Omidyar, VEON Ventures, Prosus Ventures, and Lonsdale Capital participated. 

Reports indicated that Maheshwari explained that ShopUp received a $19.69 million primary capital infusion. Some undisclosed existing shareholders sold their shares for the remaining amount. 

Tiger Global Management has now entered Bangladesh after the Series B round of ShopUp’s Series A financing brought Valar Ventures and Prosus Ventures to the country. ShopUp had raised $22.5 million in a Series A round in October 2020.

Over the years, ShopUp has gone through many changes. For example, Voonik, an Indian fashion e-commerce firm, was bought by Shopup in 2020.

In Bangladesh, 4.5 million neighborhood mom-and-pop businesses, known as Mudi Dokaans, account for 98 percent of the country’s retail sector. As a result, Bangladesh has one of Asia’s most fragmented retail markets. As a result, these companies confront numerous obstacles, including product availability, which is worsened by additional issues such as lack of transparency in pricing and inefficient delivery systems.

ShopUp, a full-stack business-to-business commerce platform founded in 2017 by Ataur Rahim Chowdhury, Afeef Zaman, and Siffert Sarwar, claims to have constructed a full-stack business-to-business commerce platform to address these difficulties. Small businesses can use the company’s primary services, including B2B sourcing through logistics, wholesale marketplace, working capital through agreements with banks and other partners, and business management software.


Company overview

Legal Name



E-Commerce, Internet, Shopping


Afeef Zaman, Ataur Rahim Chowdhury, Navaneetha Krishnan J., Siffat Sarwar, Sujayath Ali, Sujayath Ali

Founded Date


Total Funding Amount



8 investors

  1. bKash

bKash is another well-known Bangladeshi startup. Mobile banking platforms were gaining popularity in the early 2000s. Two brothers, Kamal Quadir and Iqbal Quadir wanted to bring a comparable platform to Bangladesh, so they started talking to Sir Fazle Abed of Brac Bank. bKash was founded in July 2011 as a joint venture between Money in Motion LLC and BABank C R of the United States.

bKash has been a crucial actor, observing that over 70% of Bangladesh’s population lives in rural areas and that most of them are unbanked. bKash capitalized on this need and began as a mobile-based money transfer platform.

They’ve added more services over time, including bill pay, mobile top-up, and payment to another e-commerce site.

bKash is now used by about 22% of Bangladesh’s adult population, with over 4.5 million transactions every day. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has also invested in bKash, while Ant Financial has taken a stake in the company. In addition, the platform was named Bangladesh’s most inventive invention in 2018 due to the paradigm shift it produced in the banking sector.

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Company overview

Legal Name



Mobile banking platforms


Kamal Quadir and Iqbal Quadir

Founded Date

July 2011

Total Funding Amount



287 Number of Investors

  1. ChalDal

On the surface, Bangladesh’s distribution of groceries may seem archaic. However, the situation has slowly changed for years. Consumers could only buy raw grocery items and wet markets in the past. A local bazaar is where you purchase your groceries. There are challenges, however. Despite these reasons, grocery shopping is still the most popular mode of shopping for groceries today due to low prices, fresh produce, experience, and, most importantly, a lack of willingness to change. 

Supermarkets and organized retail shops like Agora, Shwapno, and Meena Bazar emerged. They no longer have to ask someone behind a counter in these shops to browse groceries. There is a notable presence of organized retail among the city’s upper class and to some extent, the burgeoning middle class. However, these stores remain largely inaccessible. 

Things stayed quite steady in format until roughly 2012/2013 when internet groceries emerged as a viable alternative. Chaldal, Bangladesh’s first serious online grocery delivery company, began as a modest operation in 2013 that delivered groceries in a few small pockets of Dhaka. Given the sluggish uptake and intricate nature of the online grocery sector, the company has been cautious about expanding. It’s not easy to deliver fresh food at a profit.

Things, on the other hand, are changing. In the last two years, Chaldal has constantly grown its coverage. The company expanded to Naraynganj last year and to Chittagong and Jashore in 2021 after covering all of Dhaka. Other players in the digital commerce space are showing interest in the sector. Today, Evaly, Daraz, and FoodPanda all have substantial grocery operations.

Online grocery shopping is becoming more popular around the world, and Bangladesh is no exception. Increased mobile phone and internet usage, customised features, valuable discounts, and same-day delivery all contribute to the customer’s overall value.

As a result of the pandemic, the e-commerce future was brought forward by a few years due to its growth. 

As a result of the pandemic, eCommerce has grown faster, and its future has been accelerated by a couple of years. 

Many people have been awakened to the benefits of online shopping since this surge in digital retail has come about. For example, online shopping has become the go-to option for medicine to groceries for consumers who initially resisted the idea. In addition, in a survey conducted by NAWG, 66% of Bangladeshi people claimed closed markets posed the most challenge during the early days of the pandemic lockdown. 

With the Coronavirus lockdown, people looked to platforms like Chaldal to buy daily essentials.

2) ChalDal

Company overview

Legal Name



Delivery, E-Commerce, Grocery


Tejas Viswanath, Waseem Alim, Waseem Alim, Zia Ashraf

Founded Date


Total Funding Amount



8 investors

  1. Pathao

Bangladesh has many notable startups, including Pathao. In Bangladesh, the company was founded in 2015 by Hussain M Elius Fahim Saleh, and Shifat Adnan. The company started as a ride-hailing platform that delivered packages.

The company also launched a ridesharing service in 2016. With the platform’s popularity growing instantly, they valued the company at 100 million dollars in 2018. It also registered a million users in 2018. Pathao has expanded to include Gazipur, Sylhet, Dhaka, Chittagong, and Kathmandu in recent years.

RC Ventures, Provident Growth, Alter Global, and other firms offered funding to the company during its infancy.

One of the world’s most populous countries and one of the densest in Bangladesh. A little over $700 in GDP per capita made it one of the least developed countries until 2010. A major obstacle has been the country’s infrastructure. Dhaka, the capital, is famous for having blocked and difficult roads. Despite being consistently ranked among the worst world cities based on traffic, it even topped the list in 2019.

However, the country has hit middle-income territory due to a massive economic boom. The country’s young population and smartphone penetration are driving this growth. According to the World Economic Forum, digitalization will completely transform the US economy. 

Thanks to the nascent technology startup scene, new young companies are already doing excellent businesses tailored to operate within countries like Bangladesh. Moreover, it is often possible for these companies to bypass commercial broadband or telecom usage, which helps them leapfrog mature economies in terms of technology adoption.

Pathao, founded in 2015 and has earned more than $40 million in funding, is one of Asia’s fastest-growing and most successful digital startups. It is focused on developing solutions to mitigate infrastructure challenges. The startup wants to create an app-based solution for IT-enabled services to help Bangladesh become more digital. 

It is the country’s most popular super-app, with roughly 10 million downloads and a menu of more than a dozen services, including food delivery, grocery shopping, an e-commerce store, cashless payments, and transportation sharing. Pathao requires secure, scalable, and adaptable databases to underlie its operations, as it runs over 100 microservices to serve its complicated business.

Pathao began as a bike-based courier service in Dhaka before growing into two-wheeled Uber-style ridesharing. Within weeks of allowing freelance drivers to use its network, business soared from 2,000 to over 10,000 trips each day. However, the company’s infrastructure was not prepared to handle the extra traffic. As a result, outages during peak hours become more common, resulting in negative consumer experiences. As a result, Pathao needed to reconsider its IT strategy, especially because its business model changed.

“We weren’t expecting that kind of traffic when we developed our original systems, and our monolithic platform wasn’t prepared to handle it.” So, to allow the deployment of microservices, we chose to pivot to a microservice architecture and move to a Kubernetes cluster on Google Cloud,” explained Shifat Adnan, Pathao’s co-founder, and CTO. “Our goal was to create a single app that it could use for numerous verticals like grocery, parcels, gaming, health, ridesharing, and streaming entertainment.” For other use situations, this necessitated the usage of a different database.”

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Company overview

Legal Name



Rapid response team,


Shifat Adnan, Fahim Saleh, Hussain Elius

Founded Date

Oct 09, 2015

Total Funding Amount



8 Investors


In a US$ 4.15 million Series A funding round provided by the Aavishkaar Frontier Fund (AFF), the leading Asian impact investment firm Aavishkaar has announced a US$ 4.15 million funding round for, an E-Commerce company based in Dhaka managed by Zero Gravity Ventures Limited. is the first and largest B2B e-commerce platform in Bangladesh. It offers businesses like offices, factories, and other companies an easy and convenient platform for making and purchasing goods directly from their offices.

With customers such as Financial Institutions, RMG manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and local conglomerates, launched in mid-2016.

Founder and CEO of, Zeeshan Kingshuk Huq, told Investopedia that the company currently has over 500 corporate and 2,000 small companies as customers and has experienced around 15% month-on-month growth.

In addition to basic financing, Aavishkaar Ventures hopes to incorporate best practices and collaborate with other companies in the region, such as zero gravity’s and companies operating in the B2B space.

At present, Zero Gravity has almost 250 employees and has already implemented three state-of-the-art warehouses in Dhaka and its delivery fleet.

“Aavishkaar believes can completely reinvent Bangladesh’s B2B transaction model for corporates and SMEs.” We’re excited to collaborate with the team on fine-tuning strategy and expanding the business.” Sanchayan Chakraborty, Partner of Aavishkaar, expressed his opinion.

Aavishkaar is an active investor in early and growth-stage firms in India and Asia, pursuing a development strategy centered on entrepreneurship; this is Aavishkaar’s third investment in Bangladesh.

Previously, the company was invested by Frontier Fund, a Bangladesh-focused private equity fund managed by Brummer & Partners Bangladesh. Frontier has invested in 10 different businesses across various industries, including automotive, retail, pharmaceuticals, RMG, white goods, and online marketplaces.

“Digital Bangladesh is no longer a dream today – it is a reality!” remarked Mr. Zunaid Ahmed Palak MP, the State Minister of ICT for Bangladesh.

“These millennials have not only taken Bangladesh e-Commerce forward but have also been able to lure various global investment corporations to Bangladesh,” Mr. Palak added, congratulating the founders.

Bangladesh presently has over 250 e-commerce websites and over 10,000 Facebook-based stores. However, only a small percentage of them can secure the necessary finance to move their businesses beyond the start-up stage. Experts believe the e-Commerce market will gain momentum and maturity due to the kind of investment a global corporation is making in Zero Gravity.

Company overview

Legal Name


B2B, B2C, E-Commerce, Retail


Asif Zahir, Zeeshan Huq

Founded Date


Total Funding Amount



2 Investors

  1. Maya 

A mobile application for electronic messaging that connects a user with expert advice is Sister Maya or Maya Apa in English. It is available on a smartphone 24/7 and provides expert advice through electronic messaging. The App aims to provide quality information and counseling services to Bangladesh’s disadvantaged population, specifically women. ‘Help at Hand’ is the slogan of the App. This App was developed by female developers who want to empower women through technology.

People in developing countries like Bangladesh often find it difficult to access doctors, lawyers, and therapists due to financial, sociocultural, and geographical barriers. Expert advice is now available through the App. The community is now better informed. Maya Apa is a light in the dark for women who do not have access to medical advice physically or face social taboos. Women across the country can use this App to access information and services. Changing the way citizens live and think will lead to a change in society.

Almost 4 million people in Bangladesh work in the Readymade Garments Sector, where more than 85 percent are women. The sector contributes over 80 percent to the country’s total export. However, because they mostly come from unprivileged families in Bangladesh, workers in the sector don’t have proper education. Also, they lack access to better nutrition, health services, legal advice, and general knowledge of living. As part of this endeavor, Maya Apa and BRAC are now partnering with 50,000 garment workers under a pilot project to provide the services, intending to reach 4 million garment workers. developed the App in February 2015, collaborating with the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), one of the world’s top NGOs that help impoverished, landless, rural women produce income and improve their living standards. More than 10,000 people use it every day, with women accounting for 60% of the users.

The App offers a large network of experts who cover various topics, with health services accounting for over 80% of all services. The service is based on volunteerism and is entirely free. The volunteer experts’ main motivation is to make society more equal for everyone by closing the information gap and increasing knowledge sharing. 

After passing Maya’s examination, it may enlist anyone interested in contributing and who knows relevant areas to provide the service. When a question is posed, it is forwarded to the appropriate specialists, who respond within three hours. Maya Apa offers value by offering a real-time choice via an easy and secure messaging service that keeps service recipients anonymous.

Typed messages, voice recordings, and images are used to deliver these queries. English and Bengali are the official languages of Bangladesh. With this App, you can now manage your digital health.

3) Maya

Company overview

Legal Name



Health Care, Natural Language Processing, Personal Health, Wellness


Ivy Russell

Founded Date


Total Funding Amount



11 Investors

  1. Shuttle

Accelerating Asia led an initiative to raise $750,000 for Shuttle, a mass transit startup in Bangladesh.

As part of the round, investors from Bangladesh and Europe participated, including Impact Collective (The Ventures, South Korea), Roboti Axiata Limited (r-ventures), and Bangladesh Angels Network (BAN), a press release stated.

As part of Biniyog Briddhi, Shuttle is also eligible for a matching fund of up to $100,000, intended to help transform Bangladesh’s impact economy by supporting a thriving ecosystem where businesses can scale and prosper.

Founded by the Embassy of Switzerland, Roots of Impact, and Lightcastle Partners, Biniyog Briddhi is a public-private partnership (PPDP).

In total, Shuttle has been able to raise just under US$ 1 million so far, including a pre-seed round from Robi Axiata Limited.

Its minivans are air-conditioned and can accommodate up to 11 passengers, allowing customers to commute together while spending less than a fourth of the price of ride-sharing.

The startup began its journey in 2018 with a women-only service to address a significant issue in Bangladesh: women’s transportation safety.

The service was a huge success, with positive feedback from female users around Dhaka.

The shuttle now has over 20,000 women registered for their ‘Shuttle for Women’ service on their platform and has conducted over 1 million successful rides. In 2020, it will incorporate ‘Shuttle for Business,’ which would expand its offerings even more.

When asked what makes Shuttle different, Reyasat Chowdhury, co-founder and CEO, answered it’s a separate solution for everyone’s approach.

The problem of one solution for everyone was not solving the problem when we started because women, men, business people, students, etc., all have different needs and priorities.

At the end of 2018, the shuttle was just getting started. Since then, the shuttle has diversified its offerings significantly and grown its core product. During Accelerating Asia. 

After the successful launch of Shuttle for Business and signing clients, including top multinational companies, they could execute ideas, launch new products, and demonstrate resilience within the team,” said Amra Naidoo, Co-founder and General Partner from international accelerator VC Accelerating Asia.

The shuttle is an exciting addition to Accelerating Asia’s portfolio, and we are proud to lead the investment round for them.”

Mr. Shihab Ahmad is the Chief Commercial Officer of Robi, the sponsor of r-ventures, and praises the persistence of Team Shuttle. He also praised the team’s development in providing services.

“Shuttle helps to alleviate societal challenges encountered by underdeveloped countries with insufficient infrastructure,” said Jimin Ryu, who oversaw the investment agreement for Impact Collective.

In Bangladesh, the startup has a total addressable market value of US$ 7.5 billion. The team believes the method may be applied to other developing countries and densely populated cities.

Nirjhor Rahman, CEO of Bangladesh Angels Network (BAN), stated, “In Bangladesh, both intra-city and inter-city mass transportation is risky, unreliable, and unsafe, particularly for women. We’re delighted to be a part of Reyasat and his team’s efforts to create a 21st-century bus service for Bangladesh.”

Company overview

Legal Name



Information Technology, Logistics, Supply Chain Management, Transportation


Jawwad Jahangir, Reyasat Chowdhury

Founded Date


Total Funding Amount



4 Investors

  1. SureCash

A financial strain caused by the Coronavirus forced SureCash to lay off its employees during the outbreak.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement that there would be no job losses, SureCash deposed their staff so that they may lose their government license. 

Amid this unprecedented uncertainty, digital finance companies like BKash, for example, are making contributions by providing employment opportunities to employees from their home offices, including in the garment industry.

SureCash, however, has deposed its staff. In addition, sources have confirmed that the company may have to lay off a few more employees soon. As a result, SureCash’s operations are uncertain going forward and may be shut down soon.

SureCash employees testified that the company terminated Shamima Ahsan, the Dhaka office chief human resource officer, on April 8 as part of its first phase of layoffs.

Several department heads of the National Sales Department have also been laid off, among others working in different country districts. Sales and Marketing employees or business development employees accounted for most of these employees.

Current employees confirm that they too worry about losing their jobs. However, during COVID-19, SureCash’s Human Resources told us that the company doesn’t need such enormous staff numbers because of the downturn in business.

If you are needed in the future, they will contact you. This is unrelated to our performance.” Workers are facing unprecedented uncertainty due to losing their jobs amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many of them lost their only source of income. In addition, due to the government’s declared holiday, everything is closed.

In this circumstance, they will be unable to join any other organization. They must begin to live a difficult life with their parents, spouses, and children.

SureCash made headlines in December 2019 when it announced that the company was being acquired by Pathao, one of the country’s fastest-growing start-ups.

The companies have made no announcement, but sources have confirmed that SureCash could have avoided this situation if they had completed the deal with Pathao earlier.

Premier Sheik Hasina announced four packages of Tk 72,750 crore during her speech on April 5.

After announcing this incentive package, he added, “We hope they will reassure everyone.”.

She assured everyone that no one would lose their jobs due to this incentive.

Having this in place will smooth out the socioeconomic dynamics of the country, and the country’s economy will turn around.” “As per Prime Minister’s declaration, everyone would profit from the incentive package,” SureCash’s ousted employees claimed.

As a result, the firing of 200 Sure Cash employees is a horrible crime. If we don’t get our jobs back right away, we’ll organize a protest after the Coronavirus situation has stabilized.”

According to the findings, on September 4, 2019, the Ministry of Elementary and Mass Education inked an agreement with Rupali Bank’s Sure Cash to provide scholarships to primary school pupils.

The silver bank’s Sure Cash program is in charge of distributing funds among 30 lac primary school students. However, parents of the students are experiencing unexpected situations when taking the funds, such as insufficient agents and a shortage of funds in the agents’ accounts.

SureCash was already in trouble because of these complaints. During payments to elementary school students through SureCash, State Minister for Primary, Zakir Hossain, warned the affiliates not to corruption.

They stated that there would be no government contract awarded to any other institution during the current Corona controversy since Sure Cash has deposed the employees, disregarding the prime minister’s announcement.

They should be identified and put on a blacklist. “Sure Cash provides the scholarship money to the primary school pupils using mobile banking,” stated Akram Al-Hussein, Secretary of the Ministry of Primary and Mass Education.

The minister warned of previous violations. However, we will decide whether or not to engage with them after consulting with government affiliates if they have deposed workers owing to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.”

When asked about this, SureCash’s Head of Marketing Communication Mashrur Hassan Mim said, “The company has been working to improve operational efficiency to provide better services to its 20 million customers across the country, and it is re-structuring the Sales Department to survive in this competitive market.”

In addition, some of the positions have to be eliminated during this difficult time,” he said. “We have been improving Sure Cash’s efficiency for the last six to seven months.”.

In 2015, Sure Cash began commercial operations through a platform they constructed using their technology. As a result, many employees have been hired in various departments, including those who hold leadership positions.

Customers can use Sure cash for cash-in/cash-out transactions, money transfers between people, inward international remittances, government payments, student fee payments, utility bill payments, and various other financial transactions.

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Company overview

Legal Name



Financial Services, FinTech


Shahadat Khan

Founded Date


Total Funding Amount



1 Investor

  1. Praava Health

Sylvana Sinha worked for the World Bank in Afghanistan and was a foreign policy advisor to Barack Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign before starting Praava Health, which offers telemedicine and physician clinics. Sinha had a “light bulb moment” in 2011 when she visited Bangladesh for a family wedding and witnessed her mother nearly die every day after an operation at a top private hospital.

“I’d seen that you cannot get quality healthcare in Bangladesh for a very small amount of money,” she told TechCrunch.

The fact there are still no great options for healthcare, even though the country has made significant progress and there is now a middle class of 40 million people, really struck her. Healthcare costs go outside the country by billions of dollars a year, and thousands of people travel every day to access better healthcare abroad.”

In 2015, Sinha moved from the United States to Bangladesh to work on Praava. This round brings the company’s total fundraising to $10.6 million. In the six years since Praava launched in 2018, its growth has tripled. It now serves 150,000 patients. By 2020, it will also be processing 75,000 COVID-19 test cases in-house.

Angel investors who supported Praava include David Petraeus, former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and chairman of KKR Global Institute, and retired US Army General David Petraeus.

Iora Health founder and CEO Rushika Fernandopoulle; and Geoff Price, co-founder and chief operating officer of Oak Street Health, spoke in addition to Wellville founder Esther Dyson, SBK Tech Ventures, and Dr. Jeremy Lim, advisor for digital health to the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research of Singapore.

In Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital, the company operates a flagship medical center and a network of 40 smaller clinics throughout the city. Praava intends to expand into Chittagong, Bangladesh’s second-largest city, after opening more clinics in Dhaka.

It can also reach patients across the country thanks to its “brick-and-click” approach, which includes online consultations. Praava’s virtual healthcare services, including Telemedicine and an online pharmacy, make for around 40% of the company’s revenue.

Bangladesh has one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, yet its 170 million people face a catastrophic shortage of healthcare staff. Although 70% of Bangladesh’s population lives in cities, the World Health Organization estimates that there are only roughly 3 physicians and 1 nurse for every 10,000 people, with the majority working in urban hospitals.

People travel long distances for consultations that may be short.

In my experience, Telemedicine helps patients out of Dhaka decide whether or not to travel to Dhaka,” said Sinha.

According to the company, over 80% of patients, particularly those in primary care, can meet their needs online. Twenty percent of the time, they will direct them to one of Praava’s clinics, which offer various outpatient services, lab testing, images, and pharmacy service.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Praava has seen a rise in-clinic visits, though most consultations have been virtual. Praava’s medical staff is staffed by full-time salaried employees whose main goal is to foster deeper relationships between providers and patients through appointments that typically last 15 minutes.

See the source image

Company overview

Legal Name

Praava Health


Health Care, Wellness


Sylvana Quader Sinha

Founded Date


Total Funding Amount



6 Investors

  1. PriyoShop

The pandemic’s turbocharging of digitalization has had the greatest effect on e-commerce. Investing in e-commerce is therefore in high demand.

The Bangladeshi technology startup ShopUp, which features a full-stack B2B commerce platform for neighborhood shops and online sellers, raised $22.5 million in what is known as a Series A round of funding. This represents an investment in a privately held startup after it has demonstrated progress in developing its business model and revenue growth potential.

Now, Singapore-based PriyoShop has raised seed funding from a few angel networks.

An investor who invests in seed money generally takes an equity stake in the company or a convertible note in exchange for their capital investment. This investment at the seed stage is meant to assist a business in its early stages until it has produced enough cash flow to sustain itself (see cash flow) or is ready for further investment.

By empowering rural micro-entrepreneurs with a wide selection of authentic products to sell to the public without investing in working capital stock, PriyoShop was founded by Asikul Alam Khan, Dipty Mandal, and Raisul Kabir in the summer of 2018.

An angel investor, Sonia Bashir Kabir, CEO of SBK Tech Venture, provided funding in 2018, and other investors came on board a year later.

As of today, PriyoShop provides products and services to small merchants from brands and manufacturers. It has 500,000 monthly active users registered on its platform and 10,000 agents who cover 490 towns together.

“PriyoShop will grow significantly in 2020,” says Khan, its CEO.

To attract 100 million customers and 1 million retailers within three to four years, it plans to build a complete e-commerce network that can rival Walmart’s.

This funding round will fund PriyoShop’s expansion into small merchants, strengthening its product offerings and building new offerings that cover different product verticals.

“We will be using investors’ experience and wisdom to successfully bring digital commerce to Bangladesh’s next 170 million residents through small retailers,” Khan said.

There is still a need for assistance for rural Bangladeshis to access the internet.

You must think differently to build something for 170 million people. He describes how all services — commerce, digital commerce — are the same, but the channel makes a significant difference.

There is still a big opportunity for growth and adoption in Bangladesh’s e-commerce market, especially in rural areas, Bansea said in a statement.

The company added that the unique model of working with small retailers had given PryoShop a strong brand presence and first-mile distribution network.

Craig Bristol Dixon, co-founder and general partner of Accelerating Asia, noted that a digitized traditional industry and increased service and product delivery efficiency in Bangladesh offered opportunities.

PriyoShop can help you with that.

Their market share has grown significantly since joining our portfolio, he added.

The company seeks series A funding to grow its business, develop its tech infrastructure, and hire more employees to manage its supply chain.

See the source image

Company overview

Legal Name



B2B, E-Commerce, E-Commerce Platforms, Retail, Retail Technology, Shopping


Asikul Alam Khan, Dipty Mandal, Raisul Kabir

Founded Date


Total Funding Amount



7 Investors

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