Eight startups recently got about Tk 3 crore in funding, in the form of both investment in return for partial ownership alongside grants, through a competitive procedure.
Four others turned down such funding offers as the amounts did not meet their expectations.
There were three investors -- The Angels Network, IDLC Finance and Robi, which alone invested the highest Tk 2 crore, says a press release.
The grants amounted to Tk 73 lakh, all provided by Startup Bangladesh, the government’s ICT Division accelerator for budding entrepreneurs. Sigmind, a startup focusing artificial intelligence, received the maximum investment of Tk 1.15 crore from r-ventures, Robi’s flagship platform for digital entrepreneurship.
Of the others, Velvet Box delivers sanitary products to women through subscriptions, Digiton provides cashless tea vending machines, Uparjon connects freelancers and clients, Aalo markets advertisement screens for public buses and Fuelb provides online fuel delivery.
The others are online tutoring platform Edumate, home-based food delivery Cookands, on demand maid/household service Hello Tasks, telemedicine service Doctor bondhu, AI-powered glass for the visually impaired Alo and cattle management device-based service provider KhamarE-IoT.
The initiative was first launched by Robi in 2018 with a view to building digital entrepreneurship among its employees.
This time, the operator launched r-ventures 2.0 project in July, which saw 2,226 startups forward their ideas in search of funds.
The 12 digital startups were selected after a thorough screening process.
Last Tuesday, an “investment day” was organised at the International Convention City Bashundhara, where the investors made their offers and the startups got to choose ones of their liking. State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak handed over the funding. TiE Dhaka President Rubaba Dowla and Bank Asia President and Managing Director Md Arfan Ali were present as guests.
Mahtab Uddin Ahmed, managing director and CEO of Robi; Sonia Bashir Kabir, president of The Angels Network; Arif Khan, CEO and managing director of IDLC Finance, and Tina F Jabeen, investment advisor of Startup Bangladesh, were also present.