ShopUp, a startup digitizing neighborhood stores in Bangladesh, has raised $ 75 million in a new funding round that is also the largest in the South Asian market.
Directed by Valar Ventures by Peter Thiel ShopupSeries B financing round of $ 75 million. Prosus Ventures, as well as existing investors Flourish Ventures, Sequoia Capital India and VEON Ventures also invested in the round. The new investment, which brings the startup’s historic increase to more than $ 100 million, is also Prosus’s first deal in Bangladesh, home to more than 100 million internet users.
Like its neighboring country, India, more than 95% of all retail sales in Bangladesh go through neighborhood stores in the country. There are around 4.5 million of these family stores in the country and the vast majority of them do not have a digital presence.
ShopUp is trying to change it. It has created what it calls a full-stack business-to-business trading platform. The startup provides a number of basic services to these stores, including a wholesale market to secure inventory, logistics (including last-mile delivery to customers), and working capital.
In the past year, the startup has expanded its offerings and deepened its presence in Bangladesh, said Afeef Zaman, co-founder and CEO of ShopUp, in an interview with TechCrunch. For example, it has partnered with the nation’s largest manufacturers, producers and distributors to secure and supply inventory to small stores, he said.
The startup, like many others, was affected by the pandemic, but as the country begins to open up, ShopUp is beginning to see a recovery, he said. Overall, the business has grown more than 30 times in the last year, he said.
“The ShopUp leadership team has demonstrated strong execution skills over the last twelve months. They became clear market leaders with double digit growth in three products created for underserved small businesses in Bangladesh. In fast-growing frontier economies like Bangladesh, small businesses are the main engine of the economy. We are excited to partner with Afeef’s vision of building a connected ecosystem of products to accelerate their transition to the online economy, ”said James Fitzgerald, founding partner of Valar Ventures, in a statement.
This is a developing story. More to follow …