Shohoz’s Maliha M Quadir recognised as a top female founder | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 11, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:09 PM, August 11, 2020

Shohoz’s Maliha M Quadir recognised as a top female founder

Maliha M Quadir, the founder of Shohoz, has been recognised as one of the top female founders in the world for raising the highest amount for the country's fastest-growing start-up.

Businessfinancing.co.uk, a business finance and lending research and information website publisher, recently published the list that includes the founders of companies like the Ant Financial, Grab and WeLab.

From Bangladesh, Quadir was the only founder who made it to the list.

"It's great news for Bangladesh and all Bangladeshi women," she told The Daily Star yesterday.

"I am delighted that the international media is taking notice of the good work that Bangladesh's technological sector is generating," she added.

BusinessFinancing selected female founders that have been a founder or co-founder of at least one company in a given country or state of the US-listed in CrunchBase, a platform for professionals looking for innovative companies.

For each country, it selected the women who founded companies with the greatest funding amount raised.

The list contains 107 female founders and co-founders in 102 countries. China's Lucy Peng topped the chart for raising $22 billion for Ant Financial.

Harvard Business School-graduate Quadir founded Shohoz in 2014 with 30 employees by digitalising the unstructured travel and ticketing industry in Bangladesh. It now employs more than 350 people.

Shohoz is now the fastest growing start-up in Bangladesh with the largest spread of services. In 2018, Shohoz made a foray into the ride-hailing market. In the same year, the company announced it raised $15 million from Golden Gate Ventures of Singapore and others to expand.

The company added trucks to its ride-hailing service and food delivery last year.

During the pandemic, Shohoz further evolved by introducing grocery, medicine delivery and e-health (video-based doctor consultation) services.

Shohoz also worked with the government of Bangladesh in developing a COVID-19 contact tracing app.

In an ideal world, female start-up founders would not need to prove their value compared with their male counterparts.

But research shows that women face negative attitudes during pitches. Investors ask women more about risk and losses, while men are asked about ambitions and achievements, said BusinessFinancing on its website.

"That's tough luck for prejudiced investors. Female founders deliver higher profits. They are more likely to run their business in a socially responsible way. And, because they are more driven by ideas than money, they are a better bet for long-term success."

Quadir previously received the 'Best Female ICT Entrepreneur' award from the government, the Young Global Leader recognition by the World Economic Forum, and The Daily Star Best ICT Startup of the Year.

She worked for a decade in the US and Singapore in reputed firms in investment banking and technology, including Morgan Stanley, Standard Chartered, Nokia and Vistaprint.

"Shohoz's motto is to make life easier for the masses. We strive to do that every day. This recognition is a testament to the good work the Shohoz team is putting in," she said.

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