The Bangladesh Security Exchange Commission will help boost the start-up, venture capital and private equity ecosystem in Bangladesh, said its Chairman Shibli Rubayat-Ul-Islam on Wednesday.
"We will certainly accommodate relevant changes that are necessary for the venture capital and private equity enterprises," said Islam during a meeting through a digital platform with a delegation from Venture Capital and Private Equity Association of Bangladesh (VCPEAB).
Shameem Ahsan, chairman of VCPEAB and general partner of Pegasus Tech Ventures (former Fenox Venture Capital), led the delegation.
The BSEC is continuously working to make the investment environment easier and transparent in Bangladesh, he said, while pledging to work with VCPEAB on policies to nurture the emerging industry.
During the meeting, the team discussed different initiatives related to strengthening the venture capital, private equity and start-up ecosystem.
VCPEAB also requested for policy support to create a sustainable venture capital industry.
The delegation emphasised the possible contribution by venture capital and private equity investments to boost trade, innovation, export and help create home-grown start-ups that can contribute to the securities market in Bangladesh.
Ahsan urged for expanding the scope of venture capital and private equity industry with policy support such that they can contribute to the Bangladesh economy through their investment in innovative start-ups.
As a result, these start-ups can create an ecosystem that can contribute up to 2 per cent to the country's gross domestic product by 2025.
"The success of global companies like Google and Facebook is not only attributed to their founders but also their VC investors like Sequoia Capital, Accel Partners and Greylock partners among others who supported them while they were only start-ups," Ahsan said.
Similarly, the best companies from Bangladesh will emerge with the investments of venture capital and private equity funds.
BSEC Commissioner Shaikh Shamsuddin Ahmed said all kinds of support will be provided to improve the start-up and venture capital industry in Bangladesh.
Shawkat Hossain, general secretary of VCPEAB, presented a keynote on behalf of the association to share the policy reforms necessary to develop the venture capital and private equity industry.
"We can see our current policy has many drawbacks when compared with the policies followed worldwide. From VCPEAB we are proposing to amend and add to our current structure to make an industry conducive to the creation of local start-ups," Hossain said.
Arif Khan, chief executive officer of IDLC, focused on widening the investment opportunity and clearing policy with an amendment to make the industry lucrative for the investors. He emphasised on many international practices followed worldwide.
"There is a need to make the investment environment suitable for both local and foreign investors, outlining both the investment and exit strategies. This will create long-term investments feasible for the funds," Khan said.
"Few major guidelines are missing and creating barriers for us to do investment properly," said Waliul Marrof Matin, a director of the VCPEAB and managing director of Maslin Capital.
These policies need to be more investment-friendly for the fund managers, he added.
Shafique-ul-Azam, managing director of BD Venture; Asif Mahmood, managing director, SEAF Bangladesh Ventures LLC; Kh Asadul Islam, managing director of Alliance Capital Asset Management; Masum Ali, CEO of Lanka Bangla Asset Management Company; Meer Sajed-Ul-Basher, CEO of Impress Capital; Mahadi Hasan, chief investment officer of Athena Venture and Equities, and Anower Jahid, investment associate, Bangladesh Venture, were also present in the discussion.